928 Indiana Ave. - Wichita Falls, TX
Updated: Jul 18, 2019
This next building is a little harder to research because
through the years, it changed addresses. Currently, it is
World Finance at 928 Indiana. The only constant with this
building is that the upper floors were the American Hotel,
which I will write about in another story.
Searching the American Hotel, I find that it was built sometime in 1916, according to the 1917 City Directory. So, the stores on the ground floor would have been part of this same structure. You can find old city directories at the Wichita Falls Library or at the Wichita County Archives in the Museum of N. Texas. One thing to keep in mind when looking through old city directories is that it would take a great deal of time to publish these directories, so the city would have been surveyed the year before to appear in the directory for the following year. So, if you find something in the 1920 city directory, it would have been surveyed in 1919.
Knowing that this corner store was built in 1916, following it through the years, the addresses changed. There were four businesses showing at this one address of 926 Indiana, so it's possible that back then, it took up several store fronts that were later separated. It started out as the first location for North Texas Furniture . It was Kimberlin's Ready to Wear, Connell's Bonnet Shop, Kimberlin's Beauty Shop and the Specialty Shop. By 1924 all of the previous stores had closed and it was a business called Miller-Ferguson Co. This company lasted quite a few years, the address at this point had changed to 930-932, but with many small businesses, they come and go or move. In the 1932 directory which would have been 1931, the place was vacant, this was of course during the Depression and I am sure Wichita Falls was hit just as hard as in other city in the U.S.. In 1934, the Olympic Fruit store opened. In 1935, R.C. Meats was also at the same address as the fruit store. It was the Olympic Food Store until the late 1940's.
Probably the most memorable business in this corner building was Russell Stover Candies that opened around 1950. This was a time when you would go inside and the candy would be in different bins, in a glass front show case. You would choose the candy you wanted, decided how much you wanted and the clerk would scoop your candy into a bowl on a large scale and weigh it, until they got close to how much you wanted to spend. They would take the metal bowl off the scale and pour it into a sack. What a treasure and treat it was for a child to walk around downtown with their bag of candy!
This location remained a candy store until the early 70's when it became A & D Liquors for a few years. In 1978 it was a business called The Peanut Patch. The building remained vacant until 1980 when World Finance moved in. They have now been in that location for 38 years!
Russell Stover Candies in the 1960's at 928 Indiana Ave.
928 Indiana Ave. today
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