ARMSTRONG, PICKETT & CO., the leading mercantile house of Howard County, wholesale and retail dealers in
hardware, implements, stoves, etc. In the spring of 1856, Messrs. J. A. James, H. A.
Armstrong and A. F. Armstrong commenced business in the village of Kokomo, in
a building on the east side of the public square. They occupied this place two years, when they found their business
assuming such proportions as compelled them to seek more commodious quarters. Accordingly, they removed to the
Bohan & Ashley corner, into a room 16x80 feet, at that time the second largest room in the village. In 1862,
their business demanding more room, they purchased a lot on the east side of the square and commenced the erection
of a three story structure; but before it was completed, it was destroyed by a tornado, and in the downfall, carried
with it the store occupied by the firm. The firm, however, immediately began to rebuild, completing the new building
the same year. In 1867, their block was destroyed by fire, and the same year rebuilt, with only a two story structure.
In 1867, Dr. James retired from business and was succeeded by Mr. Josiah Beeson, the
firm name being Armstrong, Beeson & Co. The following year, Dr. H. A. Armstrong died, and his interest was
purchased by Dr. E. A. Armstrong. Two years later, Mr. Beeson sold his interest
to Messrs. Zimri Nixon and Isaac Ellis, when the firm became Armstrong, Nixon & Co. In 1873, Mr. Nathan Pickett
purchased the interest of Isaac Ellis, the firm name remaining the same. In 1874, another change was produced in
the firm by the death of Mr. Nixon. The members composing the new firm were A. F. Armstrong, E. A. Armstrong, Nathan
Pickett and George W., Landon, under the firm title of Armstrong, Pickett & Co. In 1875, the new firm, to accommodate
their increasing business, began the construction of a block on the southeast corner of the public square. It is
four stories and basement, 44x132 feet, is complete in all its appointments, and fire proof. The basement is used
for storing bulky goods, and the first floor,which is sixteen feet between joists, is the general salesroom. Upon
the west side is a platform, 16x100 feet, suspended from the ceiling, used for storing woodenware. In the front
of the room between the doors is the office, elevated and surrounded by plate glass, and is convenient and commodious.
The second floor in front is divided into offices, and is now occupied by I. E. Kirk, attorney at law; S. T. Kirk,
dentist; Armstrong & Moulder, physicians. Back of these are the stove and tinware rooms The third floor contains
the general stock stoves, plows, cultivators, grain drills, etc. Over the west side is another suspended platform,
where doors, sash and blinds are kept, and in the rear of the room is the stove fitting department and tinshop.
In the loft are stored spokes, hubs, hand rakes, shovels, etc. Fine broad stairways give access to all the floors,
while there is also an elevator in the rear of the building. Their block is lighted by gas, and a cistern, containing
500 barrels, is constructed within the building, to be used in case of fire. The building is of brick, upon stone
foundation; the walls are eighteen inches thick, and altogether it is one of the finest buildings in Northern Indiana.
The members of the firm are live, energetic business men, gentlemanly and accommodating, and well worthy of the
patronage they have so meritoriously received from Howard and adjoining counties, and the business house which
they have established is one of the most reliable and prosperous in the State. In 1876, Nathan Pickett transferred
his interest to his son, J. C. Pickett, who has since taken an active interest in the business, the firm name remaining
Counties of Howard and Tipton, Indiana
Historical and Biographical
Charles Blanchard, Editor
F. A. Bettey & Co.
Howard County, IN
Names A to F
Names G to L
Names M to Z
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