History’s Attic

This week in History’s Attic

The time greed moved a street in Gregory. The time was 1904, and Gregory was listed as a government town site. Lots went up for sale and in a quick fashion (maybe a little under the table and back room smokey deals), all the Gregory Main Street lots were snapped up by speculators. Now comes along the merchants looking to buy lots on the new Main Street, only to quickly realize they were already sold and would have to buy for inflated prices from speculators.

What to do? Not to be outdone, the new merchants banded together and with some legal work they set about platting out a new Main Street one block east of the old one! And that’s what they did, leaving the land speculators stuck with a bunch of worthless lots. The speculators were forced to throw in the towel, and to save face they offered the lots free or low priced to churches that would build on the street. And that’s what the churches did. The Methodists took up the offer, the Catholics did too, and even the Lutherans jumped in and created what is now called Church Street. To this day Church Street is still laid out in 25ft wide lots like a typical main street was to be. The merchants went one block east and created what is now Main Street.

Like they say, greed is greed it never changes


Author Richard Papousek, February 2024