MEMORIES IN FOCUS: Withstanding the test of time years ago
Still standing today are these two venerable buildings at 2nd and Main Sts. that date back more than a century.
The 1877 J.C. Mehl building, right, now houses the County Seat home decorating center. The 1905 Hauser building, left, houses a portion of the Western Associates advertising specialty firm.
In 1908, when this photo was taken, the lower levels of both buildings were occupied by John Ehrlich’s Sons, a dry goods and clothing store. Next door to the west, barely visible in this photo was Williams Implements, a farm implement and buggy store.
The Ehrlich dry goods and clothing store expanded into the 50-foot-wide glass frontage of both the Mehl and Hauser buildings in 1905, shortly after completion of the Hauser building.
A year earlier, disaster was averted during construction of the Hauser building.
Heavy rain and excavation for the basement of the Hauser building caused a portion of the west wall of the Mehl building to sink so much that it had to be demolished. It was replaced when the combined showroom for the Ehrlich store opened.
The Ehrlich store, founded around a decade earlier, was sold in 1914 to the owners of Alexander-Long Mercantile Co. of Council Grove. Since then, the two buildings have housed a collection of businesses, including grocery, furniture, and implement stores.
Last modified Nov. 29, 2018