What's Historic About Brookville, Pennsylvania?

Kelso-Reitz Building
By Jimmy Walter

The foundation was laid in November 1910, for the Kelso-Reitz Building and completed in July 1902. This building is a 3-story brick commercial block with the storefront having luxfer glass. It was built in two sections: The eastern part was built by William Kelso for use a furniture store. He died in 1904. His business was taken over by Rufus Reitz, his son-in-law. This part had a cornice of wood similar to other buildings throughout the downtown. In 1909, the west side addition was built for a Post Office that opened in September 1909. The postmaster was W.W. Henderson. The wood cornice was removed and a new brick cornice was installed to run the length of the completed building.

Large display windows with a black and white marble tile entrance was completed in March 1927. In each window is a hardwood floor with the woodwork being butternut finished in walnut. During the summer, they raised the top floor and added a combination passenger and freight elevator being completed in November 1927.

This was the first passenger elevator in Brookville. The cost was approximately $14,ooo-15,000. At one time, there were maid quarters in the basement. The Reitz residence was on the upper floors.

The furniture business in 1900 until 1904 was known as William Kelso and Company. William Dickey was a partner in the firm.

When Kelso died in 1904, the name was changed to Dickey and Reitz. In 1907, Dickey withdrew and Gilmore and Rufus Reitz formed a partnership under the name of Reitz Furniture Company. In 1940, Rufus brought his son, Don Reitz into the business and changed the name to R & D Furniture Company.

They also had the furniture business. Don Galbraith took over the funeral and furniture business in 1963. The firm became known as Galbraith's R & D Furniture Company when a partnership was formed between Galbraith, his son David and son-in-law Kenneth S. King. The furniture store is still operating today.

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