Our story is taken from The Lowell Tribune of Aug. 10, 1911, at a time when many of the old settlers were still in the community and prices in the local advertisements were comparatively low, but reflected the cost of living then.
Many great buys were listed in an advertisement for "The Fair," a store owned by George Kimmet in an old frame building which was across Commercial Ave. from the downtown auto care center. Wash Machines (hand powered) were only $2.75, and sewing machines were on sale at the low price of $18.00.
Granite basins, ladies' and men's hose, towels, handkerchiefs, ribbons, comb cases, salad bowls, paraffin wax, matches, vases, glass bowls, cups and saucers, candles, 1 lb. candy, underwear, souvenirs of Lowell, neckties, and many other items were all listed at a cost of one dime. White-handled knives and forks at $1 a set, with men's underwear, leather gloves, and men's overalls all for 50¢ each. Violin strings were 15¢ a set, a 100-pc dinnerware set went for $9.75, and No. 2 wash tubs, galvanized, sold for 65¢.
In their advertisement, the State National Bank, then at a site at the corner of Wall St. and Commercial, offered the following description: "Capital $50,000, established in 1893 [in the building now next to the Chamber Office] Albert Foster, Pres., H.M. Johnson, Cashier, John A. Kimmet, Vice President, and Arthur Foster, bookkeeper."
The "Red Front" general store at the site of the present trophy shop on W. Commercial Ave., advertised: "B.V.D. Men's Union Suits, the coolest made."
The Wilbur Lumber Co., once a large complex across from the present grocery market on Washington St., had a large advertisement telling the great features of their lumber business. The ad included two phone numbers: Lowell 72, which was for local calls, and Northwest 32 for long distance.
The Lowell Telephone Exchange, with Clifford Hill as manager, was on the floor above the present office supply store in downtown Lowell. The Northwest Exchange was over the present Commercial Ave. carpet store near Clark St.
A large ad dominated one of the newspaper pages: "In advocating the use of the modern lighting feature, ACETYLENE GAS, Mr. Fred Hayden, the local representative of the Pilot Co., is pleased to refer to the following substantial citizens of this community, as testifying to its great merits, as personal users." A long list of well-known citizens followed.
For their program at the Lowell Opera House (second floor, northeast corner of Mill St. and Commercial, destroyed by fire in 1976), a firm by the name of Foster and Beebe ran an ad: "Moving pictures [silent] every Saturday night, three reels and illustrated song -- change of program nightly -- admission Adults 10¢, children 5¢. Anyone wishing to spend a pleasant evening need look no further, as our shows have pleased others, and they will please you."
Burnham Bothers (Herman and Fred) Hardware, in downtown Lowell, advertised to tell everyone that a car load of cider barrels would be arriving soon.
George Hoevet advertised for his "Big Store" (dry goods and groceries) with a big sale on "Lawns" (linen material) at a discount of 20 per cent, with sale prices from 7¢ to 30¢ per yard. His large store was in the space between the present vacuum cleaner shop and the travel shop in downtown Lowell. It later became the Lynch Brothers Department Store, the Spindler Store, and Sears, all long gone.
A testimonial by F.G. Carstens told how well pleased he was with his new Automatic Cream Separator, sold by A.G. Taylor of Creston, the sole agent in this section.
On the front page was a story about the Town Board Meeting of the previous week: "The Board of Trustees met in regular session Monday night with [2 of 3] Trustees [Roy] Daum and [Amos] Thompson present. Minutes were read and approved and the following claims approved: Standard Oil, 31.50; Floyd Lambert, labor, $15; Ole Klein, labor, $13; Zelbert Sisson, labor, $5; Ernest Kerns, teamster Labor, $62; State National Bank, interest on school bonds, $300; Mortimer Castle, salary $6; Charles J. Belshaw, town marshal, salary $45; Frank Maloy, Monon Freight agent, freight on pump $8.96; State National Bank, interest on water bonds, $728; William Taylor, making pit $168; Isaac Taylor, labor, $6; Walter Staff, Shoemaker, labor $7.50; Crown Point Electric Co., July lights, $166.66; Dr. J.W. Iddings, disinfecting, $15. Dr. Iddings' bill was allowed in the sum of $10, all others allowed as read."
On motion, all outstanding vouchers over 90 days old were cancelled and the Treasurer was authorized to charge the amount to the general fund. Ordinance No. 109, ordering the removal of piling from Cedar Creek, was passed.
Town Treasurer Roberts reported the following: General Fund, $287.30; Water Expense Fund, $735.19; Water Bond Fund, $1,027.69; Water improvement fund, $732.40; Town Bond fund, $1,174.34; Electric Light fund, $736.88; Road fund, $191.10. Total on hand, $5,456.41.
On motion, meeting of the board was adjourned. Submitted by E.J. Pixley [jeweler] Town Clerk. The offices of Town Clerk and Treasurer were separate at that time.
That year horse racing became so popular at the Lake County Fairgrounds that the committee had twenty carpenters build an additional 20-stall horse barn in one day.
John E. Zartman, owner of a livery stable (stabled and rented horses) near the creek wrote the following advertisement: "I will run a 'bus' [omnibus, horse drawn] to North Hayden to meet all trains on the C.I.S. railroad. Call me up by phone 49 if you want to use the 'bus.'"
There was also a Coca Cola Co., "only 5¢ everywhere." Another theatre ad was for Taylor's Theatre (later called the Grand Theatre on Clark St., demolished in the 1930's). The show featured Dubec's Comedy Circus, with "live dogs, cats, rats, monkeys and apes -- 20 live animals -- do everything but talk. Also moving pictures [silent]. Adults 15¢, children 10¢."
The Tribune itself also ran this ad: "NEWS!! We are always tickled to death when someone calls on the telephone to give us news, so call phone No. 12 when you have any news for us." [Subscriptions cost one dollar per year in 1911.]
Return to Lowell History
Return to the "Pioneer History" A to Z Index Page