They Left Their Mark In Oakford, 1872

Business District- East of Railroad
Page 23

This section of Oakford's business district is not the oldest. The first building, in the above picture, was moved there from the elevator area and has always been used as a barber shop, except for a short time when it contained the post office. Barbers have been Jones, Walter Thomas, Beverly Thomas, and Goy Cardiff.

During the turn of the century, Hamilton Lutes and his boys built the front section of the Next building as a butcher shop. In a short time, they added more additions and developed into a general store. In 1914 Hamilton Lutes died and the two boys continued the business as Lutes Bros. Store. During the teens the boys sold their business and moved to Colorado. The building was used for a short while by Elmer Hameline as an implement store. Later, the Lutes Brothers returned and again opened their business, which carried on into the 1930s. Since then the store has had several operators. Alex Sinclair, Earl Allen, Earl Phelps, Louis Brauer, and John Whitley. Today the building is used as Severn's Insurance Agency.

In 1902 James Hall had the Oakford Hotel built, which he operated for a few years. After he ceased operating through the years following have been proprietors: Albert Dick, Hugh Watkins, Mrs. Jim Weaver, Dan Weaver, Ed Smith, Alva Reitzel and Velda Greehalgh, Marie Ishmael, Eleanor Lynn and Marie Lynn and Earl Hughes.

The Next building was on of the earlier buildings. At one time Olin Varnum operated a store here. Later McFadden Grain Company used the front section as a scale house. The scales were in the street. The rear part of the building was used as the telephone exchange for awhile. Since then it's been used as a pool parlor, tavern, garage, and today, Blair's paint Shop.

Across the street a new saloon was built in 1902, by the Riech Brewing Company and Jim Thomas took over the business as proprietor. This business was operated by Thomas and Bowman, until the town was voted dry and then it became a club house. The building burned in 1921.

The First National Bank of Oakford erected their new building in 1911, which is the Next building.

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