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719 12th Street

West Side

719 12th Street

2010-2015: Essentials Hallmark Cards and Gifts

1998-2003: Treaures on the Square was located here.

1972: The T-Store was located here.

1929- 1966?: The Woolworth Store occupied this space opening on September 26, 1929. By 1941, Marvin Oaks was the store manager succeeding M. G. Pratt. Mr. Pratt began managing the store in 1938 after succeeding Fred DeBardeleben.

1922: Lawrenceville Furniture Co was located in this building selling leather goods (suitcases) as well as stoves and ranges. Herschel Ross was the treasurer of this company. ( From 1917-1927 Illinois Representative and two times Senator Lyman Emmons owned an interest in the furniture business.)

1920: Lyman W. Emmons ended his furniture business with a two-week sale in the spring to thank his customers for their patronage. This decision was made after being told that a surgical operation was necessary and Emmons could not work as hard as he had been doing. Emmons would remain in the same location and continue selling musical instruments and records until June, 1920, when he rented the Gee building on State Street formerly occupied by the Grand Shoe Store and moved his stock of musical instruments to the new location. Otto P. Helmekamp, with his brother Will Helmekamp and George Mendenhall of the Bicknell Indiana Hardware and Furniture Company and the Sullivan Hardware and Furniture Company, purchased the remaining stock of house furnishings belonging to Emmons. Otto had been with Standard Oil in Lawrenceville for ten years before taking over the management of the business in Lawrenceville.

19??: Halden and L.L. Gooch Brothers operated a dry goods business with clothing for the family and household furnishings sometime later after the Couch Brothers closed their store.

1908-09: The present building was built by M. G. Couch and J. F. Couch at a cost of $16,000. It is 38 ft. wide, a full two stories high with an 8 ft. basement under the entire building. The first story has a 14 ft. ceiling with the second story ceiling being a height of 12 ft. At the time the building was built, the entire front of the first story was a plate glass show window with a tile entrance to the door in the center. At that time an elevator from the basement to the upper floor was built in the middle of the building about 30 ft. forward from the rear. Just in the front of this was the stairway, with a midway landing on which was an elevated office.

The Couch Brothers, who owned the building, moved their $7000 worth of furniture and undertaking stock into the space on St Patrick’s Day, 1909. The store carried a full line of furniture, stoves, shades, pictures, carpets, and rugs on the first floor. The newspaper reported that the building was decorated throughout with small green shamrocks given away as souvenirs. An electric piano furnished music during the day, and in the evening, the Citizens Bank under the direction of L.F. Borden rendered an excellent program.

The second floor contained the morgue, undertaking room, showroom for caskets in the rear and furniture in front. The undertaking apartments were partitioned off with portieres and pillars. Both rooms were elegantly lighted. The undertaking business, valued at $5000, included two funeral cars, and an ambulance for “prompt and satisfactory service.” M. G. Couch was the resident manager and licensed embalmer. P. J. Carr was his first assistant, with H. L. Childress and A. R. Runyan as his assistant.


1909: The basement was first occupied by the Big Four Amusement Co., known then as ‘an amusement parlor.’ On one side were two bowling alleys and on the other were pool and billiard tables. A cigar case and electric piano also adorned the place. The company was comprised of E.M. Lewis, M. G. Couch, F. B. Childress and W. W. Perkins, the latter buying the interest of W. P. Dickerson. Perry Lewis was the clerk in charge.


1941: Robert D. Sprinkle, Justice of the Peace, had moved his office from 709 12th to upstairs in this building according to an early city directory. The Indian Refining Plant Union held meetings there also.

1907: The building site was purchased by the Couch Bros from Otis Swinehart when the address was known as South Market Street. The Buchanan House hotel previously shared this lot with the corner lot. The purchase price for both lots was $5,500.

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