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February 15, 2006

Here's a look at the east side of the Perry square as it was in 1927, when the World Series of that year was about to begin. Some of the buildings shown here have been demolished, but Foster's Corner Drug remains. (Photo courtesy estate of Ralph Foster Jr.)

East Side of Square

We are talking about the east of the square, as it used to look, in about 1941, when the town's two movie theaters were located there along with other sturdy businesses. Previously we discussed Foster's Corner Drug and some of the upstairs sleeping rooms, or hotels, on the square. Among them were Hans Hoover clock repairman, and Barney Woolverton, justice of the peace and former Red Rock baseball player. Now for the rest of the story. We relied on Moorehead's Perry Directory and our own personal memory for a lot of this. Hope you agree.

Next door south of the Roxy Theater was Kraemer's Shoe Store. The shoe business was the store's primary interest, but it carried a complete line of apparel for men, women and children, and it was all "brand name" merchandise. Many people also remember that the store used to give away baby rabbits to celebrate Easter Sunday. The bunnies were displayed in a centrally located kiosk on the sidewalk at the front of the store. The business was owned and operated by Mr. and Mrs. E.O. Edson. Mrs. Edson, whose maiden name was Marguerite Kraemer, was the daughter of the founder, A. Kraemer, a pioneer in the Cherokee Strip run. Mr. Kraemer and the Edsons are now deceased. Next door south of their store was a barber shop operated by Henry Loeffelholz.

Attached to the barber building was the Palace Cafe, a large and rightfully highly regarded restaurant/ Union Bus Station operated by the late Mr. and Mrs. Billy Reckert. A Palace Cafe cup of coffee, or a sandwich, or a plate lunch was a Perry institution. Mr. Reckert, a selective service committee member, greeted the men as they left for military service or discharge on a bus.

Next door south of the Palace was a grocery store operated by the H.L. Johnson family. It was one of many "Mom and Pop" grocery stores in the downtown areas. After that store came another restaurant, variously known as the Pacific Cafe, and by other names, and a pool hall which changed owners/operators often. On the south corner of the east side was the First National Bank in the multi-storied building now occupied by the Chamber of Commerce, Perry Information Network and other businesses. It is better known as the Foucart building, honoring the original architect. Across the street, at the intersection of Sixth street and Cedar street, is the Kemnitz Station, which has been known by several brand names through the years. Originally, I believe it was a D-X Station. Am I remembering all these by the rightful owners and operators?