The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa


November 16, 2013

A historical perspective

The re-opening of Sweet Woodruff on 1100 and 1102 Fourth St. has conjured up memories of how the buildings started and what businesses have called those buildings home in the past.

The mercantile and grocery store on the southwest corner of Fourth Street and 11th Avenue was operated by R. Green and Sons for more than 60 years; 46 at this site. They advertised as “The Pioneer Merchants.” On Feb. 18, 1876, the Fulton Journal announced, “The Greens are erecting a fine brick building on the site of their present store. The lower part will be used for a store and the upper for dwelling purposes.”

W. C. Green, one of the owners and his family, lived in the upper level for more than 60 years. How successful was their business? The Fulton Journal, dated Dec. 21, 1909, noted “that R. Green & Sons are enjoying an unusually large trade during the present holiday season. Since Saturday they have had thirteen clerks employed to wait upon their large army of patrons.”

• 1102 Fourth St. — The site of Sweet Woodruff for the past two years, was built in 1891. Because of the success of their business, the Greens erected that building on the south. Presently, Wendy and Phil Ottens, have expanded her business into the north building.

The arched walkways have been “rediscovered.” The original tin ceiling is restored and the maple hardwood floors are again exposed and appreciated. The history of 1102 Fourth St. was described when Sweet Woodruff had its grand opening in 2011. Three of Dwight Green’s granddaughters attended the celebration. While here in Fulton, one of them encouraged Wendy to expand into the north store; a suggestion that has now become a reality.

There has been plenty of activity at 1100 and 1102 Fourth St. over the years. Here are the businesses that have called this location home.

• 1876: R. N. Green builds a two story building; moved the existing building next door (in 1891, he builds a new building at 1102) — successful grocery and mercantile business.

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