Last updated: August 26. 2014 3:27PM - 395 Views
By Rhonda Chalfant Contributing Columinst

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Some Sedalia businesses and farms remained in the same family for several generations, while others changed hands frequently. During the first week of January 1910, the Sedalia Democrat-Sentinel reported on three changes in local business ownership. The reasons for the sales differed — one related to health, one to a move and new job, and the other to a downsizing of property.

The newspaper articles and federal manuscript census provide details about the transactions and those involved.

Bell Hutchinson, considered by the Sedalia Democrat to be “one of Sedalia’s most substantial businessmen,” owned the Sedalia Hardware and Grocery Company at 318-320 S. Ohio Ave. He was active in Democratic Party politics, serving as chairman of the local nominating committee, and was also active in local civic affairs.

According to the 1900 Federal Census, Hutchinson was born in 1852. A widower, he had a daughter, Lynn, who was not living with the family, suggesting that she may have been away at school. He lived with his parents, William and Martha Hutchinson, and sisters Minnie and Martha. The census identified his occupation as “rents property,” suggesting he was a landlord or real estate broker.

By 1909, Lynn was in poor health and Hutchinson decided to retire from the retail business. In January 1910, he sold his store’s fixtures and stock to J. N. Shannon, of Fredonia, Kansas, for $15,000. Shannon was a 60-year old married man with six children. He planned to make Sedalia his home. At the time of the sale, Shannon was staying at the Blackman Hotel while he searched for a suitable home for his wife and two single children.

After the sale, Hutchinson and his daughter planned to spend a month in California where Hutchinson hoped the climate would help Lynn regain her health. He returned to Sedalia, and the 1910 census reports that he, Lynn, and servants Clara and William Wright were living in a rented home in the Fourth Ward. Hutchinson identified his occupation as a “stockman,” and his work as “dealing in livestock.”

Another real estate transaction involved a former Sedalian who moved to Kansas City to work. Will DeBold owned the Windsor Bar at Second Street and Lamine Avenue. DeBold and another Sedalian, Edward Cartwright, former caterer at the Antler’s Hotel, had moved to Kansas City to work at E. O. Rank’s saloon and restaurant at the Gaiety Theatre. The Democrat pronounced the barman and caterer a “good team,” able to handle their new jobs at Rank’s establishment.

DeBold sold the Windsor Bar to brothers Joseph and Nicholas Zecherle for an undisclosed amount. The brothers and Joseph’s wife Mable lived at 606 W. Second St.

The third transaction involved the sale of a farm and a possible downsizing of a business. Henry Garman, according to the Democrat, was “one of Sedalia’s best known dairymen.” He owned a 140-acre farm two and a half miles northeast of Sedalia, as well as cattle, other stock, and farm machinery. The 1900 census notes he lived with his wife Hester, parents W. F. and Nancy Garman, and brother Justin.

In January, real estate brokers Weinrich and Stambaugh arranged the sale of Garman’s farmland for $22,000, or approximately $157 per acre, to J. H. Butler, a farmer from Saline County. He was to take possession of Garman’s farm on April 1.

Garman kept his stock and machinery, as he planned to continue in the dairy business. The 1910 census confirms he did so, identifying Garman and his brother working as “dairymen” and wife Hester as a homemaker.

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