The Howes Building 1900

From: The Clinton Herald; September 16, 1899, P. 5
Transcribed by a Clinton County IaGenWeb volunteer.

Mr. E. M. Howes Decides to Erect a Handsome Structure on Fifth Avenue and Second Street.

Will Add to Their Capital, Enlarge and Have a Store Second to None in Iowa.

Clinton’s good luck is now coming in good sized chunks and with a regularity that is most satisfactory. It is only six months ago that the government appropriated $100,000 for a postoffice building and $25,000 for the river front improvement. The building will be erected next year and the river improvements will then be made. It is but two months ago that Northwestern announced its intention to erect two round houses here at a cost of $75,000 each, with other improvements, making an aggregate expenditure of $225,000, and the walls of the first building are already nearly completed. Then a new industry arranged to remove here from Eldora and the company has already purchased buildings and made all arrangements to come at an early day. Within thirty days a new railway from this city to the south has begun building and the grading is well under way. Many other important improvements are either being made or are determined upon.

But THE HERALD is permitted today to make an announcement that is of decided importance to the retail business of the city. For several months Mr. E. M. Howes has been considering the erection of a fine block upon his well located lots on the corner of Fifth avenue and Second street. This morning all the papers were signed necessary to insure the erection of a block and to secure it a tenant that will add much to the business interests of the city.

The building will stand 100 feet front on Fifth avenue, running east from the corner where is now located Mr. Taylor’s restaurant, and 80feet on Second street, while the east fifty feet will run to the alley, 140 feet back from Fifth avenue. The main entrance will be in the corner, with double doors and windows under a heavy stone archway. At the rear on Second street will be an entrance, with stairway and elevator. There will also be an entrance at the eastern corner on Fifth avenue with stairway.
The basement and first story will be of cut sandstone and the best of plate glass. The next two stories will be pressed brick and stone trimmings. The windows will be arched in pairs and the elevation will give the structure an imposing appearance.

The first and second floors, with extensive balconies will be used for store purposes, while the third floor will probably be arranged so as to furnish much pleasure to the people of Clinton. It is being planned to have a large ball and reception room, banquet hall, parlors and other conveniences for parties, balls, bazaars and other assemblages. The walls will be sufficiently strong to bear a couple additional stories when needed.

Everything about the building will be strictly modern, and no expense will be spared to make the block substantial, convenient and attractive. The plate glass fronts will be arranged to permit the best possible window displays.

The contract provides that the building shall be completed and ready for use by September of next year.

Reid & Conger the Tenants.
A lease for the first two floors of the building was signed this morning by Reid & Conger, the well known dry good merchants. They will arrange the store into departments and add at least four new lines to their trade. The change involves the adding of $40,000 to their capital which will enable them to have one of the very largest stores in the state. The authorize THE HERALD to say that when they open in the new block, their store will rank with the very best in the west. The members of the firm are well known in this section as wide awake merchants, who display excellent judgment in the conduct of their business. They have been enlarging their business in various departments from time to time, as necessity came for the same, and this new departure is in accord with the demands of their rapidly increasing trade. The Messrs. Reid & Conger have unlimited faith in the future of the city of Clinton and their action is a recognition of the undisputable fact that the city is making rapid advances in the business world.

Probably Another Block.
Since the above was written THE HERALD is authorized to say that H. G. Coe of Clarence, father of V. G. Coe of this city, will probably erect a block of the same style and in conformity with the plans of the Howes block. Mr. Coe recently bought fifty feet front on Fifth avenue, just to the east of Mr. Howes’ lots, and extending to the alley, 140 feet. He has confidence in Clinton and bought the lots because he believed a business block would be a paying investment. Mr. Coe has not yet closed with a tenant and is open to propositions. Both he and Mr. Howes can build cheaper and to better advantage at the same time. If Mr. Coe carries out his present intentions and he undoubtedly will, the entire block will be 150 by 140 feet.
This is a good day for Clinton, and there are more just like it in store.

The Clinton Daily Herald, September 1, 1900, P. 3

Something About Clinton’s Fine New Business Structure.
First and Second Floors to be Occupied by Reid & Conger – Nine Suites of Office Rooms on Third Floor – All Are Rented – The List of Tenants.

The new Howes block is rapidly nearing completion and within a few days will be well filled up with tenants. The interior of the building is handsomely finished, and has all of the modern improvements.

The first and second floors will be occupied by Reid & Conger’s department store, which will be opened within a few days to the public. The work of moving the goods from the present store building will be commenced at once.

There are two entrances to the building for the second and third stories, one in the northwest corner, the other in the southeast. The elevator is reached by the northwest entrance, through a marble wainscoted lobby, with tile floor. The wood work is of oak and the lobby is set off in an artistic manner by a fancy Greek border. In the hall will be found an office bulletin. The elevator will be run by electricity. It is of lattice work, with bronze finish.

The store rooms are patterned after the modern buildings and have high ceilings and galleries. Messrs. Reid and Conger and Architect Rice and Mr. Howes visited a number of cities and secured the best information obtainable in reference to store buildings and the knowledge they received enabled them to plan for a modern interior.
On the third floor are nine office suites and a photograph gallery will be occupied by Gilbert Temple. The offices will be occupied by the following:

One and two, Dr. Herbert R. Sugg.
Three and four, Marvin Gates.
Five and Six, Dr. Milbourne.
Seven and Eight, Dr. J. H. F. Sugg.
Nine, ten and eleven, C. H. George.
Twelve and thirteen, D. Hollowell.
Fourteen and fifteen, J. L. Rice.
Sixteen and seventeen, Gilbert Temple.
Eighteen, D. H. Sheppard.

As there are two large halls through the building, on the third floor, and an air shaft, all of the rooms are well lighted and the circulation of air is excellent. The rooms are finished in cypress, with maple floors. All are piped for gas and water and have electric light wires.

In the building are fine closets and wash stands, altogether making it a modern and convenient block.

In the basement is a complete steam heating plant, with sufficient capacity to heat a building twice the size of this block. There is also a store room in the basement, 35 – 140 feet. Some of the office tenants will move in at once and it is thought all will be in their new quarters inside of two months.

The Clinton Daily Herald, September 15, 1900

Reid & Conger Open Their Large Department Store.

One of the Best Equipped Stores in the State – Fine Stocks of Goods Shown in All Departments – Something About the Arrangements – Those Employed in Departments.

The new department store of Reid & Conger was opened today to the public and hundreds of people visited their new quarters in the Howes Block, corner of Fifth avenue and Second street.

The store is an excellent one, is large and roomy and is well lighted. It is one of the finest appointed store buildings in Iowa and Messrs. Reid & Conger has just cause to look upon it with pride. They took great pleasure today in escorting their customers to the different departments and pointing out the many advantages of their new home.

The interior is finished in hard wood while the painting is white. The ceilings are high and the ventilation is good, consequently none of the bad effects so common in large stores will be felt by the clerks on account of improper ventilation.

On the first floor, on the west side, are the black dress goods and silks. The colored dress goods, printed cotton goods and linings are on the Fifth avenue side. The linen department is at the foot of the Fifth avenue entrance, while the domestic department is under the balcony, on the east side of the room. In the center is to be found the hosiery, gloves, fancy goods and notions. These are placed in fourteen fine upright show cases.

On the north side, round the elevator is the gents’ furnishing goods department. In the next section, east are the druggist sundries and stationery. In the north L is the shoe department.

Between the first and second floors, on the east side, is a large balcony in which are the private offices of Mr. Reid and Mr. Conger, the bookkeeper’s office and the office of the cashier. Also the wrapping department.

On the north side of the balcony is the ladies’ rest room, fitted up with easy chairs, with rugs on the floor and other homelike appointments. The balcony is reached either by the stairs or elevator.

On the second floor, in the southeast corner, is the millinery department, the arrangement of which has not yet been completed. East of this is the cloak and ready made suit department. On the east is the ladies’ muslin underwear department. The center of the room is occupied by infants’ garments and also the embroidery art department. On the Second street side is the china department, while around the elevator the corsets are to be found. In the north L, which is 50x70 feet, is the carpet and upholstery department.

The arrangement is such that the second floor is as attractive as the first, which is saying a great deal. Both rooms are equipped with the basket parcel and cash system, the latest improvement in this line. The rooms are lighted by the new style of incandescent arc lights.

The building is nicely arranged for toilet rooms. On the first floor is the lady employes’ toilet room; on the second are the toilet rooms for customers, while the men’s room is on the third floor.

There are three entrances to the building, one in the southwest corner, another at the southeast corner on Fifth avenue and the third on Second street, where the elevator is located.

The window space is large and some excellent window dressing is shown, especially on the Second street side, where are some fine wax figures, fit to grace any store in the large cities.

Those in Charge.

Following is the list of those in charge of departments, with their assistants:
Mr. Holt of Iowa City, superintendent.
Charles Tucker of Flint, Mich., manager of carpet department; John Barkow, assistant; Jo Rudolph, carpet layer.
Herman Tetzlaff, manager of dress good department.
Julius Matthiesen, manager of cloak department; Miss Nellie Brady, assistant.
W. E. Bartow of Oelwein, manager of china and crockery department; Miss Gutzmann, assistant.
H. M. Kellogg of Minneapolis, manager of shoe department; A. L. Dinneen of Albany, assistant.
Mrs. B. A. Ricketts, manager of millinery department; Mrs. McLaughlin and Miss Irene Mee, assistants.
Miss Lillian Moses, manager of the book department; Miss Lettie Sturdevant, assistant.
Miss Julia Merrill, white goods department.
Miss Minnie Tilleen, ladies’ knit underwear.
Miss Zella Hill, kid gloves.
Miss Eliza Edens, domestics.
Valinda Matthiesen, assistant in domestics.
Miss Anna Dyer, hosiery.
Miss Louise Horn, muslin underwear.
Miss Delia Logan, corsets.
Miss Frances Stroll, notions.
Miss Margaret Richter, laces.
Miss N. Behan, ribbons.
Miss Katherine Carrow, jewelry.
Miss Kathryn Niesslie, cashier and bookkeeper.
Arthur Reid, bundle counter.
Fred Richter, delivery.
Roy Kinch, elevator.
E. E. Eliason, janitor.