The First Stores of Brookville and Their Owners (to 1976)
By Candie Syphrit
Parker P. Blood had many businesses starting around 1850. In 1882, he built two railroads. He used them to sell agricultural equipment. He also bought and sold scrap iron. Mr. Blood died in 1918. William Divier took over and used a warehouse for Auburn Automobiles. The site was later used by the Lakes to Sea Buick Agency.
Mrs. Amelia Henderson had a milliary store from 1869 to about 1920.
H. Brady Craig had a furniture store that was established by his father in 1879. Mr. Craig retired from the business in 1928. George Van Vliet had a hardware store from 1880 until his death in 1905.
Banks W. and Fred Fetzer had a hardware store started by their father in 1880. It ran until 1905.
C.A. and C.F. Carrier sold agricultural machinery from 1886 to about 1890 in "Machinery Hall," which later became the first YMCA building. Samuel Truby had a jewelry store from 1890 to about 1909.
Frank P. Rankin had a hardware store from about 1890 to 1914. It was sold to Mr. McPhearson who sold it to John J. Evans. The hardware store became known as Brookville Hardware Company. Mr. Rankin farmed for several years and also managed the Baker Buick Company in 1922. Nat Huth had a bakery from 1890 to 1925.
Walter Richards kept the books for T.K. Litch & Sons. After he served as a postmaster from 1892 to 1896, he bought the G.A. Pearsall & Sons Hardware Store. A Mr. Brady was his partner. The firm was Brady & Richards. It ran until about 1908 when Richards bought Brady's share. Richards was sole proprietor until 1920 when his son, Harry, took over the store. He ran it until 1932 when the store was bought by the Brookville Hardware Company.
Fred Knapp ran a photo studio from 1895 to his death in 1948. Mrs. W. A. Henry had a millinery store from 1900 to 1913, when she died in an automobile accident. Mrs. Estell Shoafstahl and Mrs. Rose Smith had a millinery store about 1900 to 1920.
Herbert Love had a jewelry store from 1899 to 1956 when she sold it to Clark Ruffner. Mr. Ruffner operated it until 1966. William Tonell bought the store in 1966. Tonell's is still open in 1997.
The Reitz Furniture Company was started in 1902 by Gil c. and Rufus G. Reitz. Rufus also had an undertaker business. Gil C. Reitz's two sons worked in the store with other members of the family. Rufus died in 1948 and his son took over the undertaking business. He operated it until his death in 1963. D. G. Galbraith bought the business along with a house which he used for a funeral parlor. Gil C. Reitz retired in 1950. His son had a furniture store until 1967.
Albert Ferraro started a business in 1906 and also had a fruit stand. He later had a fruit and vegetable wholesale business. In the late 1920's he built a warehouse.
Joseph Sterk started a newsstand around 1909. He later had a wholesale tobacco business. Mr. Sterk died in 1918 and his son continued the business until his death in 1965, when the business closed.
There were a few blacksmith shops before 1910 including Snyder's and Silva and also on in Litchtown.
Milo Milford and William Lucas and his son, Carl Lucas, were plumbers between1910 and 1976. William Cook had an ice cream parlor from 1914 to 1920. Parry Roemer had the "Racket Store" from about 1915 to 1925.
Blake's Hardware has been in business since 1921 and is still here in 1997. Steele Electric company had a business from 1921 to 1976.
Parks Coin and Antique Shop was here from around 1930 to 1972 when the property was purchased by Dr. Mark McKinley.
Western Auto Stores and Brookville Auto Parts Company sold auto parts and hardware in 1976.
The furniture stores in Brookville in 1976 were: R&D Furniture Company, Wolf Furniture and Appliance Company. Montgomery Wards had a catalogue office in Brookville in 1976.
At one time before 1976, George W. Heber and his sisters had a bakery and also a music store. They had the first ice cream parlor in Brookville. George was an officer of the Brookville Water Company, The Brookville Solar Electric Company and the Brookville Cemetery Company.
G. Bastini had an ice cream parlor at one time before 1976. At one time before 1976, Mrs. R. Lucas and Miss Clements had a novelty shop. They made hand made painted china.
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