Fergus County Realty Building by Nancy Watts

Fergus County Realty Building (News-Argus) was built in 1914 at 521 W. Main. The Post Office occupied the right side of the building and the Arro Confectionery occupied the left side.

“The postoffice at Lewistown is to be moved July 1 to new quarters on the south side of Main Street, between Fifth and Sixth avenues, which have been leased for five years from the Fergus County [Realty] Company. … the company is having plans prepared by Wasmansdorff and Eastman for a substantial structure to be erected on the site near the Abel Brothers establishment on Main Street. The building will be 50 by 150 feet. A very deep basement under the entire building will be finished… The building will cost about $30,000.” (Fergus County Democrat, February 10, 1914).

“…The general contract went to the Piper Construction Company whose bid was just under $21,000. A. A. Stapleton secured the contract for the heating and plumbing… The excavating for this building is now about completed… this property will represent an investment of over $50,000.” (Fergus County Democrat, April 7, 1914).

“A large sign is now displayed in the postoffice notifying the public that the institution will move into its new quarters in the Fergus County Realty Company’s building on June 28. Applications for boxes are now being received and a lot of them have come in. The box holders, in most instances, wish to retain the same number as held by them in the old office and when they are not too late they are accommodated.” (Fergus County Democrat June 25, 1914). 

“The new building is near completion throughout and in the portion assigned for the postoffice the work is far advanced. About all the fixtures have been installed. The lobby provided for the new office is about as roomy as in the old. The woodwork is mahogany and everything in the office is new.” (June 25, 1914, Fergus County Democrat).

“All mail arriving here Sunday was delivered at the new postoffice in the Fergus County Realty Company’s building, the transfer having been made Saturday night. The box renters spent their spare time Sunday getting onto the combinations of their boxes and with the assistance of numerous small boys, soon accomplished the task. Mail can be taken from the office now any hour of the night and can also be deposited as the office is never closed.” (Fergus County Democrat July 2, 1914). 

The post office remained in this building until a new one was built in 1931 on 3rd Avenue North.

The Arro Confectionery:

“Articles of incorporation of the Smurr and Kirk Company, Inc. were filed with County Clerk and Recorder. The company is capitalized for $25,000 and will carry on a general wholesale and retail business in confectionery, bakery products, ice cream, etc., and will also conduct a billiard hall and bowling alley. The company has secured a large store and basement room in the new Lblock being erected by the Fergus County Realty Company.” (Fergus County Democrat, June 18, 1914). 

“The Arro [Confectionery] has opened its doors to the public. The place looked very pretty last night when the first customers began to drop in. Potted plants and ferns were effectively arranged on the tables and about the big room. The indirect lighting is used in illumination and a flowery lamp over the soda fountain adds to the very pleasing appearance of the whole.” (Fergus County Democrat July 16, 1914).

 “The Arro billiard hall and bowling alley, under the postoffice building, opened last night and a large number of billiardists and bowlers visited the handsome place, all being delighted with the arrangements and equipment.” (Fergus County Democrat, August 13, 1914).

Jack Zappone and his brother, Frank bought the Arro Confectionery and moved in on March 5, 1921. Sometime between 1930-1935 they moved their business to 217 W. Main.

Montgomery Ward occupied the building from the mid 1930’s until the mid 1950’s. In 1957 the newspaper moved into the building.

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