Brooks Building by Nancy Watts

The Brooks Building at 203-207 W. Main was built in 1913 by Piper Construction Co. The architects were Wasmansdorff and Eastman. The original owners were Henry and John Brooks. Willard’s Grill and the Willard Rooms (Charles B. Willard, Proprietor) were located in this building in 1914. Later it was the Majestic Bar and Hotel and Don Pfau’s GI Store. It is now Brooks Market.

In 1904 when a fire burned the Lewistown Hotel (now the Judith Theater), it also burned four of the Brooks Bros. buildings to the north of it. The Brooks Bros. later (1908) rebuilt the buildings at 209-211 W. Main (now the Hub Antiques and Collectibles), 213-215 W. Main (now the liquor store) and in 1913 built the Brooks Building at 203-207 W. Main.

Construction of the Brooks Building:

“S. B. Twiss presented a request for a permit for the construction of a fireproof brick building on Main Street between the T-P Saloon (201 W. Main) and the Chinese [Shing Hie] restaurant ([207 or] 209 W. Main). This building will extend for a portion of the way over Spring Creek.” (Fergus County Democrat, April 25, 1911).

“Mr. Belden…. brought up the matter of the alley on the block and which the Bank of Fergus County (223 W. Main, now Megahertz Building) was situated. This alley which terminated in the Creek was closed in the Spring of 1903 by the City Council upon a petition of Brooks Brothers. The Bank building was erected over part of the alley and another building over the rest. To cover any possible defects he asked that the alley, 20 by 100 feet, be formally declared closed.” (City Council Minutes, Fergus County Democrat Feb. 18, 1913).

“The contract for the new Brooks Block to be erected by John Brooks on the site near the post office (211 W. Main) and the adjoining the T-P Saloon [201 W. Main] was let late last week to the Piper construction company whose bid was about $25,000. All the bids submitted did not vary more than $2000. Work will commence immediately and the two-story building will be ready for use in the fall. It will be of reinforced concrete and the plans were drawn with a view to adding two more stories later.”  (Fergus County Democrat, July 8, 1913).

“Brooks building, Main Street is owned by John Brooks…cost, about $30,000 complete. This was a building presenting many difficulties as it is constructed right over Spring Creek. It is built of Hebron brick and terra cotta. It is two stories high, the storefronts being of the very latest type with marble bulkheads and entrance floors of tile. A separate heating plant is located in the rear of the building.” (Fergus County Democrat, December 16, 1913).

“The Brooks building on Main Street has a frontage of fifty-seven feet…. (Fergus County Democrat, December 16, 1913).

(NOTE: sometimes the addresses for building were changed)

This photo shows the T-P Saloon (Tivoli Music Hall) building on the left Main (201 W. Main). The building on the right is the Shing Hie restaurant at 207 or 209 W. Main. The Brooks Building constructed in 1913, was to the right of the T-P building. Spring Creek flows between the two tallest buildings in this photo.

This photo shows the Brooks Building in 1955. The white building on the left shows a new front on the T-P building which burned in 1966. The Clydesdale Horses are in the foreground.

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