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"65 Cents Buys $1 Worth" In Rochester Stores

Milestones Vol 30. No. 4

by Karen Helbling

This popular sale was advertised on the banner across the Two John's-Butler and Jackson-clothing store on Brighton Avenue in Rochester in 1907. (building on the right in above photograph)

To patrons this sale meant enormous discounts. If a Suit was priced at $10, a customer could buy it for $6.50. To the management the sale cleared the shelves and the stockroom of excess winter coats and clothes.

Two John's was established by John A. Butler and John Jackson in 1882. It grew into the largest clothier in the area during the early 1900s. The business had a reputation for quality merchandise at an affordable price. Butler and Jackson were known for their fair treatment of patrons.

In front of Two John's a horse takes a break and enjoys a drink from the watering trough. Horse-drawn carts were a familiar sight on Brighton Avenue as were trolleys.

The umbrella on the cart to the right advertises the Ewing Brothers stores in New Brighton and Rochester.

The clothing store was established in Rochester in October 1885, by John I. Kirk and James H. Ewing. When Kirk retired on Dec. 1. 1894, Ewing bought the business located in the Leaf Building on Brighton Avenue. By 1907 Frank A. Ewing and Edgar A. Ewing had joined their brother in the clothing venture.

Fred Marquart came to Rochester in 1878 and started a restaurant in the Power Building on Railroad Street. In 1885 he bought a building from the Pat O'Kean heirs located on Brighton Avenue and Pleasant Street.

In 1896, Marquart had the building torn down, and the above three-story business and residential block was erected and known as the Marquart Building.

The first floor of the building housed M. Finn's dry goods store, W. F. Workman's wholesale and retail tobacco store, Marquart's real estate office, and the Rochester Postcard Co.

On the second floor patrons entered the display room of Finn. Down the hall were the offices of Frank E. Mathew, architect and V. Orrin Strowe, contractor. Marquart used a small room for his sleeping quarters.

The third floor was occupied by Workman's cigar factory and a large hall for lodge purposes.

On Feb. 10, 1908, the Marquart Building and its entire contents were destroyed by fire.