6505-09 Walker Street
Joseph Hamilton built the brick, two-story Hamilton Building on Broadway in 1892. The first floor of the building had four sections, and businesses moved in and out frequently. In the early 1900s Hamilton's son Charlie bought out Mr. Trenkley's grocery store and took over all four sections of the building and ran his General Store. On the second floor were the lodge halls for the Odd Fellows (Chesley and Charlie Hamilton were members), and the Masons met there as well when that group formed in 1923.
In 1943 the Masons bought the building. Terry
Brothers Contracting was a tenant in 1951.
The following is an article from the October 16, 1942, edition of the St. Louis Park Dispatch that gives a good history of the Hamilton Building up to that time:
Hamilton Building, Another Park Landmark, is Sold to
The Hamilton Building, at 6505 Walker Street, was sold this week to the Paul Revere Lodge No. 321, AFAM [Masons]. This building is 50 years old, having been built in 1892, and has been occupied by some one of the Hamilton family ever since.
Charles Hamilton, one of the first occupants, opened a shoe store in the building right after its completion, and a few years later expanded into larger quarters. Some time later, Mr. Hamilton took over the post office, which formerly had been in the rear of the grocery store, then managed by Davis and Williams. Della Miller (now Mrs. Chas. Hamilton) was then the postmaster's assistant, and of course when the change came about she moved into the new quarters also. She and Mr. Hamilton were married in 1902 and lived in the one apartment in the west section of the second floor.
About 1912 the Hamiltons bought out Mr. Trenkley, who had originally run a grocery store in the building, and then later Hamilton's added drygoods, therefore making the store quite complete. Mr. Hamilton continued business here until his death a few years ago, and since then his son Willard has taken over.
The present Hamilton Drygoods and Hardware Store will discontinue business on November 1, due to Willard Hamilton having gone into defense work.
Others of the first occupants in this building will be recollected by the old timers as having been the Davis and Williams Grocery Store, which Mrs. Chas. Hamilton's brother, J.A. Miller purchased and operated for a while; a hardware and drygoods store owned by a Mr. Schultz and Mr. Malmberg, respectively; the Post Office, of which Mr. Shaft, ,of the Shaft Pierce Shoe Co., was postmaster, and around 1890 Doc Brown occupied a small space as a barber shop, before moving into the building across the street.
There were originally three apartments upstairs, two on the west side and one on the east, with lodge rooms throughout the center.
Mr. Shaft, the Trenkleys, Dr. German, the George Mignaults, the Haamiltons and the Williams family all took their turns occupying the various apartments. The east apartment was finally converted into more lodge space for the Oddfellow and Masons, who had been using most of the second floor.
This information comes from a variety of sources: newspapers, books, yearbooks, phone directories, interviews, etc. Given the varied sources, we cannot guarantee that all of this information is correct, and welcome any additions and corrections. Please contact us with your contributions and comments.