Contributed by MERLE (BUS) CORNELIUS and produced by SUSAN STAFFORD.

Picture of Lane, Kansas about 1880, by Bus Cornelius

The livery and Crow and Company hardware stores

C. P. Crow Hardware
Livery Stable and Blacksmith
Lane, Kansas before 1900
Recreated from a faded postcard

     First the picture, it came to me from a cousin, it was an old faded postcard, under the picture it states (Rob't Nater Traveling AF where the corner is broken off) by using a large magnifying glass I recreated this picture from it.

     From various sources I will write what I can find on this picture.

closeup view of the hardware store     The enterprising finn of C. P. Crow & Co., hardware dealers was established in 1880. Although started in a small way, they have worked up a large business, and it is safe to say there is not a town in the state of the same size with an equally extensive stock, which consists of hardware, stoves, tin ware, implements, wagons, buggies, harness, etc., with a tin shop in connection. Messrs., Crow and Co., also do a regular banking business which is constantly increasing. ---- The Lane Telephone Company has its exchange and switchboard centrally located on the west side of Kansas Ave. It has both local and long distance connections, as has the Green Valley Company, and gives good service. Austin Secrest is the operator. Austin Secrest would buy the Crow Hardware and run it for many years.

     Another article: "Few towns in Eastern Kansas can boast of as large hardware, lumber and implement house as that conducted by F. M. Crow, who came to Lane in 1881 and established his business that same year. Taking all in all -- his hardware store covers nearly 12,000 square feet of space and the stock carried will reach between $12,000 and $15,000. Frank Crow has made money in Lane and his store has been the chief factor in its making. Hard work on the part of its owner, every day, has built up for him a business second to none in Franklin County, outside of Ottawa. At the rear of Mr. Crow's hardware store stands an old stone building, which is used for the storage of gunpowder and sash and doors. "When I first started in business here that old rock house was the only building I could get for opening up a store", said Mr. Crow. "After moving into my other quarters, I had the windows taken out and plastered up with rock, which makes an absolutely fire-proof holding for my ammunition and other perishable stuff." (Note: This was the first building (the old stone building) to be erected in the city of Lane. It was demolished in 1928.)

closeup of livery and harness shop     The old livery stable was first opened by A. G. Bartline, conducts the town livery and sale stable, which is well stocked with good horses and is capably managed. Besides running the livery barn, Mr. Bartline tends to all drayage business and is a prominent horse buyer. In later years this livery was bought by Roy Bump of Greeley Kansas, this was at the time when they phasing out horses and converting over to cars. Mr. Bump operated a car repair business, later I. J. Cornelius would purchase the garage and then selling it to (Scoup) & Esther White.

     In my collection of Lane History, I will add the following. One time Mr. Frank Crow, Mr. John Cumbers and I. J. Cornelius were talking, I was told. Being that Lane was about the middle of the railroad line, Paola to LeRoy, the railroad wanted to build the repair shops at Lane. This would of required them taking much of the area which is now the city of Lane. The developers decided against selling to the railroad and the railroad shops were then established at Osawatomie. The railroad did build a large wooden water tank and dug a well at the rear of the Lane mill just west of Kansas Ave.

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