The Allen and Robinson Building by Nancy Watts

The Allen and Robinson building (Midway/El Rancho Alegre) at 414-416 W. Main was built in 1903 by J.W. Foster.

“John R. Cook yesterday sold to Charles Allen and Grant Robinson of Kendall, 3 lots on Main Street between Lehman’s Department Store (corner of 5th and Main) and the Golden Rule Store.” (Fergus County Argus, Jun. 24, 1903).

“Robinson and Allen of Kendall….are going to put up an imposing 50×90 foot two-story stone business building, which will cost between $12,000 and $15,000. Walter Smith has already rented the first floor for his furniture business.” (Fergus County Argus, July 15, 1903).

“The second story walls of the Robinson & Allen Building…are being rapidly laid.” (Fergus County Argus Oct 14, 1903).

“C.H. Williams, who removed his drug business from Maiden to Lewistown in 1895, established his business in the Allen and Robinson Building in 1904.  When Williams moved to a new location in 1908, John W. Seiden opened the Wilson and Seiden Drug Co.” (Ellen Cornwell Sievert-Montana Historical and Architectural Inventory, 1984)

On Feb. 17, 1938 the 35-year old Allen and Robinson building at 414-416 W. Main burned at 3. a.m. After the fire the top floor was removed and the lower part of the building was later used by the Midway Bar, Ming’s Chinese Restaurant and today it is El Rancho Alegre.



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