Pomeroy Washington Downtown National Historic District
Current (2021) address: 796 Main Street
1953 address: Emerson-Hull, 895 Main street, Phone 134
Classification: Historic Contributing
The Pomeroy Mercantile Company was organized in September, 1892, after a group of investors purchased the B. Conn and Company Mercantile Company, a business founded in 1883 by Ben Conn. The incorporators of the new company were B. Conn, J.J. McGrath, C.H. Seeley, and M.A. Dunham. The original two-story mercantile store was destroyed in the 1900 fire and the owners of the building decided to reconstruct immediately after the fire. The building was completed in late 1900. In 1912, the Mercantile Company was reincorporated with investors J.J. McGrath, C.H. Seeley, J.F. Burr, R.E. Alien and J.B. Warren. (Baldwin, page 54) Ben Cohn, the original owner, returned to Germany circa 1914.
The company was sold in May 1919 to Floyd Hull and his senior partner from Pullman, Washington, Jay N. Emerson. The new company was known as the Emerson-Hull Company. The Hull family sold their share in the company to other stockholders in 1948 after the death of Floyd Hull in 1940. Jack Meyers moved his hardware/merchandise business into the building about 1960 and in 1982, his son Tom Meyers took over the business and purchased the building.
The Pomeroy Mercantile Building is a one-story structure constructed of pressed brick. The construction date of "1900" is centered in the middle of the parapet. The intact entrance on the north elevation was originally the grocery department. Applied signage on the raised parapet above the entrance says "Grocery Dept. 1900." The storefront is intact and has cast-iron columns, wood sash windows, transoms, and metal steps that access the elevated recessed central door. Modifications include the addition of simulated mullions inside the large storefront windows on the front (north) elevation.
Description and much of the Cultural Data based on
research by Donovan & Associates
Taken from in front of Stevenson Hardware, here's a wide perspective photo looking south down what was then 4th street. The Mercantile Co. is in the building on (our) right side of the street and the Seeley Block buildings are on the left.
From approximately the same location as the above photo is Meyers in August 2021 with weird lighting caused by fires to the south and southeast and east of Pomeroy.
From a July, 1914, issue of the East Washingtonian my currently oldest advertisement for The Mercantile Company
All right ladies! If you're interested in wearing corsets, then this is the place for you.
From sometime in 1915, you could purchase "Lothing" and Women's boots from the company that sells "High-Grade Mdse on Small Profit."
As I'm working on this page in the hot summer of 2021, knit underwear is the last thing I'd be interested in. But it was porobably a great seller in March, 1919. Just look at how much of your body was covered with this underwear.
From May, 1919, the official word on the sale of The Mercantile Company to Mssrs. Emerson and Hull. This was a 'strange' advertisement, the ad was two columns wide by half a page tall. Mostly blank except for this 2" by 2" block of text.
The previous advertisement was the good-bye from The Mercantile Company. The following week's newspaper (still May, 1919), was the "Hello" from Emerson and Hull.
Emerson and Hull opened their Millinery Department in August, 1919.
Time to shop for Christmas 1919 and Pomeroy has a Toyland!.
Not just Bargains in hats, but overalls and women's pumps. Emerson-Hull really does have it all.
In June, 1920, you could get your "Cowden Service Suit" at Emerson-Hull. And, yes, they were Union Made.
1923 has been a very good year. Happy New Year to you in 1924 from Emerson-Hull.
"The Most Beautiful Garments We Have Ever Seen."
What do you think ladies?
Early in 1924. Looking at the "Most Beautiful Garments" advertisement and this one for "Mannish, Chic, Correct" you'd assume that the Roaring 20's fashions had hit Pomeroy.
From the April 5, 1924, East Washingtonian
Paul Vaugn [sic], ex-convict of the Oregon state penitentiary, and Frank Cannon, ex-convict of the Idaho penitentiary, who are supposed to have robbed the Emerson-Hull store here a few days ago were tried and sentenced to three years in the Oregon penitentiary, for a similar crime committed at Freewater, a few days preceding the burglary here. They were captured at Vale, Oregon, in an attempt to rob a store at that place.
Soon after the Freewater robbery they arrived in Pomeroy accompanied by two women and spent two or three days in the tourist camp, leaving on the morning following the looting of the store. They were suspected by the officers here and were followed to Dodge station, where they turned north, and further trace of them was lost.
Hearing of the arrest at Vale and that some goods had been found tallying in description with those taken from the local store, Sheriff Powell and W. F. Hull, of the Emerson-Hull company, left Tuesday morning to investigate. They learned that the officers had found in an apartment house at La Grande goods bearing the Emerson-Hull tag, consisting of 20 pairs of ladies' hose, 3 silk shirts, a black dress and an overcoat. Mr. Hull identified these articles as some of the stolen goods. However, efforts to identify Vaughn and Cannon as occupants at any time of the room in which the cache was found proved futile, and the prisoners denied having anything to do with the Pomeroy affair.
Goods stolen from Freewater with some jewelry were found in their possession at Vale and led to their conviction.
Sheriff Powell and Mr. Hull left Tuesday and arrived home Wednesday night. They did not go beyond Pendleton.
Yes... Never buy hosiary from door-to-door salesmen. Probably as true in 2021 as 1924.
Now that it's May, 1924, it must be time to clear out the old stock.
Posted with no further comment.
The store was now Emerson-Hull, but here's a short snippet from November 14, 1935, of Local News about a Pomeroy Mercantile employee, Marie Wessels getting married in Klamath Falls
Friends of Miss Marie Wessels, who for many years was employed by Pomeroy Mercantile company, will be interested to learn of her marriage October 17 at Klamath Falls, Oregon. Mr. and Mrs. Frank Schuster received the announcement. Miss Wessels became the bride of Mr. C. R. Bird, the ceremony taking place at the Sacred Heart rectory, Klamath Falls. They are at home in that city at 390 Addison street.
Jumping to June, 1936, here'a a combo Fathers' Day and 17th Anniversary Sale for Emerson-Hull.
August, 1936, and it was Back to School time for shoppers.
September, 1957. Custom Tailored Suits and Topcoats
July, 1958. The change is getting close
From a mid 1960's Pirates' Yearbook.
In November, 1969, you can find more than hardware at Meyers.
Big paint sale at Meyers during the Summer of 1982.
Wandering Pomeroy's Main Street
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