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Thursday November 5, 1981


Pix #1 - South Main Street building constructed in 1911, now owned by Joyce Knight, Risingsun, being updated.

Pix #2 - Houses between South and Crocker streets, west side, as they were originally, and as they appear in 1981.

The second commercial building in the block between South and Crocker streets, on the west side, never had a name. The original owner Christian German had it constructed in 1911. German was vice president of Commercial Bank at one time, and lived at 307 N Countyline, where Hardees is now.

He acquired the land where the building was built from Charles Foster in 1894 and from Peter R. Grubb in 1913. Prior to then the land was owned at various times by A.E. Blessing and Andrew Kizer. In 1925, ownership passed from German to Sarah K. Barnhart; then to Ruth Barnhart Smithson and Annabell Barnhart Bell. In 1948, the property passed to Ruth Barnhart Smithson by warranty deed; and in 1973 to John C. Smithson by inheritance. The Tri- County National Bank acquired the property in 1978 by Sheriff's deed; from whom Joyce, the wife of Howard Knight, Risingsun, is the present owner.


Mrs. Knight is having extensive repairs and inside decorating done in the three business rooms; also the three residential apartments on the second floor. The parking space in the rear of the building has been blacktopped. When completed, the building will be a credit to South Main Street, as well as the whole business area.

The three business rooms in the building are: No. 313,315 and 317.


The first tenant in the building must have been The John B. Rogers Producing Co., which was organized in 1903. They occupied the whole first floor. (See Potluck article March 6, 1977).

Others occupying the room after the Rogers Co. were Kroger Grocery, Hardens Super Cleaner, Acme Dry Cleaners, Peggs Wallpaper and Paint Store, who later also occupied No. 315, followed by Vern Simmons with Simmons Decorating.


E.C. Jarvis Meats, Diamond Cash Meat Market


In 1915, Diesel Wemmer Co., a cigar maker, occupied the two rooms.

No. 317

Reissig Bros. Tire Shop; Wener's Lunch, C.D. Werner, proprietor; Myers & Lichtle plumbing; Bob's Plumbing, Robert Waltermeyer, proprietor; also Ritter Harness Shop at one time.

The last area in the block was residential in the last century and still is; consisting of three houses, all of them of great age. Starting at the midblock alley they are numbered 325, 329 and 337.


Your author knew that it was once the residence of Davis Asire, funeral director and embalmer; however, it required a conversation with Edna Hatfield, residing in that area to confirm that the Asires lived there during the last century, when she was just a girl. Mrs. Hatfield was 101 her last birthday.

The Asire business address was 110 N. Main, where they also sold picture frames and mouldings. Funeral homes as we know them today had not come into existence back in that era.

Judd D. Asire, son of David, later became associated with his father and the business became known as Asire and Son. And, when the leder Asire had died, Judd took over and continued to live at No. 325, which was about 1915.

According to Mrs. Hatfield, when Judd Asire became owner of the property he had a fireplace constructed in the livingroom of niggerhead stones deposited by the glacier. It remains to this day.

After the death of David Asire, Dr. W.H. Pelton, dentist, and his wife, Maude bought the property. They had living quarters adjacent to his office on the second floor above the Commercial Bank, but in the summer when it became excessively hot there, they then moved in part of the house at 325 S. Main. The rest of that house eventually became filled with all kinds of "trinkets and trash", which Maude bought and collected. Eventually, her collection filled other buildings in town too.

Many tales could be told about the Peltons some of which have been related in this column on other occasions.

According to my calculations the Peltons still owned the property until about 1950.


That was the number given to the house next to the Aire property originally, but later it was listed in directories as No. 331, why, I don't know.

The first listing I could find as 329 was in 1915, when W.A. Richards, a farmer lived there.

In 1919, Mr. and Mrs. Don D. Mickey resided there, as they did during the rest of their lives. Don Mickey was the proprietor of Mickey Drug Store, and one of the family of Mickeys that lived in the "mansion" at corner of Fremont and Wood, where the newer St. Wendelin Covent is now.

In the 1930's, Mr. and Mrs. Mickey conduced a Tea Room was a popular noon luncheon spot. It continued in business until about 1962.

Presently Edwin M. Brown owns and resides in the house.

No. 337

The house at that address was the subject of a Potluck articl Jan. 29, 1981. Therefore, at this time it will be sufficient to discuss it briefly. The house is a Heritage House over 100 years old.

Bill Murphy, realtor, present owner, never had an abstract for it and therefore all previous owners are not known. Some of the owners in the past were Mark Levy, Vance Ash and A.G. Myers.

Presently it has been divided to make three residential up and two down.

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