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Harrington's business outlook was good at the turn of the 20th Century


September 14, 2017

Historical Sketch of Harrington’s Business District in 1899

With Harrington beginning to develop new businesses, it might be interesting to our readers to view the vast number of businesses thriving here more than a hundred years ago. The town had suffered a major fire in 1894 and the affected businesses rebuilt as quickly as supplies were brought to town. One can hope that if a well developed business district is created once again that the community at large would support them. One might take issue with the writer’s estimate of the population at that time, since the 1900 Harrington census showed 599 inhabitants.

“Harrington. A Brief Sketch of Our Business Houses and Their Prospects. As a rule it is customary for business men to take an inventory of stock on hand at the beginning of the year. An endeavor has been made to place before the readers of The Citizen in a condensed way the town of Harrington as it appears today.

Harrington is a town of about 200 inhabitants, situated near the center of the county and in the heart of a rich farming country. It has three general merchandise stores, five hotels and restaurants, three saloons, three confectionery stores, two livery stables, two blacksmith shops, two lumber yards, bank, harness shop, grocery, butcher shop, drug store, harness and saddlery and one hardware, implement and furniture store combined.

Among the general merchandise establishments that of Adams & Mitchum is the oldest firm, they having started in business in 1894, when the latter was appointed postmaster of this place. From a small beginning these gentlemen have, by their honesty and energy succeeded in building up a business which stands as a proof of what ‘push’ will do. A.C. Billings & Co, is the next in order, Mr. Billings who is an old settler in this vicinity bought the stock of Rosenbaum & Co. last spring and owing to the good management of his house, he now has a fine patronage. Abbott & McDonald probably carry the largest stock of general merchandise in town. This house was for a long time run under the name of Amon & Strickler, later as D.B. Strickler & Co., last spring J.H. Abbott became connected with it and on Nov 20th S.E. McDonald purchased the interest of the late D.B. Strickler. Mr. McDonald is one of the most widely known citizens of Harrington, having been in business here since 1893. McCann Bros., who purchased the interest of the firm of Moore & Talkington, are two straight-forward young men who are building up a thriving business in the grocery and furnishing line and are men that will make a success of their business, in their store is located Thos. Pea, the jeweler and watch maker.

The Wheat Belt Drug Store is one of the best arranged drug stores in the county, and is managed by E.E. Schafer who is a first class druggist in every particular, coming from Spokane to this place four years ago he has established a business that is a credit to the town. Newland Bros. successors to E.E. Plough and Co., took charge of the hardware store at this place Oct. 1st and since that time have won the people by their fairness in their dealings and by handling a stock of goods that are second to none in the county, their line of furniture and farm implements is complete so far as the demand for such things is concerned.

The saloons of Harrington are three in number; and be it said in honor of the men who run them, that they are conducted in a way that is a credit to the saloon business. F.M. Lighthizer is the oldest citizen of the town coming here in May of 1892 he has since engaged in the real estate business, beside being N.P. land agent, insurance agent and notary public, he is also post master, and in his work here has probably done more than any other individual in making Harrington what it is.

Among the hotels, the Pickell, John L Pickell, Prop., is the oldest house, it having for years catered to the appetite of the public and has won for itself a name to be envied by the average eating place. The Harrington Hotel is managed in the most approved manner by landlord Miller who came to Harrington early in the fall, and is doing a good business. Both the California and Up-To-Date restaurants are managed by men that know what the public wants to eat and each of them set tables loaded with the best the market affords.

The two blacksmiths, A.E. Thomas and F.M. Gibbins, are both workmen of ability and enjoy a good patronage from the surrounding country. The butcher shop owned by Green & Charlton does a good business in its line, as do also the livery stables, one owned by Green & Charlton, the other by D.W. Moorehouse. The oldest business house in town is that of M.T. Chism, harness and saddlery; Mr. Chism started into business in 1893 and since then has done a large trade and established a business to make him independent.

The lumber yards, one managed by Davis Johnson, the other by A.R. Graham, have prospects for a lively trade next summer in view of the building which will in all probability be done in this vicinity. As to the improvements that have taken place within the past year an article appeared in one of the first copies of the Citizen regarding these. The prospects for improvements for 1899 are good and much may be looked for from Harrington next summer.” (Harrington Citizen: 1-06-1899)


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