Central Feed building by Nancy Watts

The Central Feed building was built in 1916 at 220 E. Main as the Lewistown Mercantile Co. In 1930 it was the Nash-Finch Company then in 1952 it was called the Ryan Lewistown Co. In 1967 it became Central Feed. It is now the Central Feed Grilling Company and Big Spring Brewery.

“The General Brokerage Company of Grand Forks N. D. is planning for a new warehouse for fruit and groceries to be built in Lewistown this fall and winter. The new structure will be located across the street from the Milwaukee passenger station… and either brick or stone will be used in the structure.” (Democrat News, October 21, 1915).

“The plans and specifications for the new store and warehouse building of the Lewistown Mercantile company have been completed by Wasmansdorff and Eastman and are ready to be placed in the hands of contractors who wish to submit figures on the erection of the structure. Plans can be seen at the architect’s office. The Lewistown Mercantile Company was formed a short while ago, the principal stockholders being W.K. Nash and E.P. Nash both of Minneapolis. The capital stock is $150,000. The company will engage in the wholesale business. The location of the new building [is] across from the Milwaukee Depot grounds and the Judith Basin Flour Mills. The building will be two stories and full basement in height and will be 65 by 100 feet in ground space dimension. It will be built of Lewistown brick. The excavation for the building has already been completed and work on the building proper will start as soon as the contract is awarded and the weather will permit of good working conditions.” (Fergus County Democrat, January 6, 1916).

“Lewistown Mercantile company, $30,000 wholesale grocery warehouse on Main Street, near the Milwaukee Depot. In this the traditional warehouse treatment is broken away from and as designed the building adds very much to the general attractiveness of the section of which the Milwaukee Depot is the center. It is equipped with the latest apparatus for cooling, humidifying and ripening bananas, with large peanut roasters, humidors, candy and nut rooms as well as refrigerating plant for fruits and vegetables. The big concern that owns it considers this warehouse the best of 60 that it operates. The offices are equipped with tempered fresh air ventilation, assuring ideal conditions for the many employees. This building indicates what the wholesalers think of the future of Lewistown as a jobbing and distributing center.” (Fergus County Democrat, December 17, 1916).

“The Lindsey wholesale houses in Montana were sold today to the Nash organization of fruit and grocery houses with headquarters at Grand Forks N.D. for a consideration of $500,000. In addition to the string of produce houses purchased today the Nash brothers interest now own in Montana the following: Jones Fruit company, Butte; Lewistown Mercantile Company, Lewistown and Northern Grocery Company, Havre. With the acquisition of the Montana establishments this concern is one of the largest of its kind in the United States and probably the largest shipper of California citrus fruits, vegetables, cantaloupes, watermelons and garden produce in the West.” (Fergus County Democrat, 12-28-1916).

The Central Feed Co. at 220 W. Main. Now it is the Central Feed Grilling Company and
Big Spring Brewery. It was built in 1916 as the Lewistown Mercantile.
(Lewistown Historic Preservation Office).

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