Jewelers and Optometrists

The first jewelers seemed to be traveling salesmen who stopped to show their wares at various hotels, staving perhaps a day or two and moving on to the next town.  Two early traveling jewelers were J. F. Bronson and C.C. Avbell.

A permanent jewelry store was established by C. G. Landie, watchmaker in Muir and Christies store, Block 60, Lot 15, in 1884.  He moved his business to various places and in the later years was located in Gust Olson's store, Block 74, Lot 9.  He was jeweler here until about 1900.

O. M. Varnson set up a jewelry business in 1899.  He was here for three years, selling his stock to I.D. Allen of Valley City and formerly of Minnesota.  Mr. Allen is remembered as a fine jeweler, watch repairer and engraver.  He entered into partnership with N. J. Evenson who came to Cooperstown at the same time from Valley City.  They established their hardware-jewelry store in the Anton Enger store, Block 73, Lot 5.  Their partnership dissolved in 1903.

By 1904, Allen had moved his business and purchased the William Glass building, Block 60, Lot 14.  I.D. Allen became a registered optometrist in 1905.  He ran his jewelry and optometrist office until his sons Robert and Spencer finished optometry school in 1930.  After becoming licensed, Robert took over the optometry business.  I.D. Allen remained in partnership with his son until he retired.  Spencer Allen left Cooperstown and now lives in Crosby.

Robert Allen operated the jewelry-optometry business until 1962 when he sold out his jewelry operation to Kenneth Ellingson, retaining the optometry business.  In 1964, Allen and Ellingson moved across the street into a new building which Robert Allen had constructed.  (The old building was sold to First State Bank and torn down) Ellingson jewelry occupied the east side of that building until 1970.  Allen's optometry office still occupies the west side at the present time.  Other occupants of the east side office have been Mel Pantzlaff s Barber Shop and at present Gil Fletschock's Barber Shop.

Source: Cooperstown, North Dakota 1882-1982 Centennial Page 191

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