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Blair State Bank Building

Also known as: Huber Building
1881(marked on front of building)
Located: Corner of 16th & Washington Streets, South West corner of Block 36, Lots 16, 17, 18 & 19

In 1881, news came to Blair that the a railroad bridge was to be built over the Missouri River connecting the tracks through Blair and the line to the North & East. This was good news for the town. This started a 10 year period building two and three story brick structures through at the town.

The old Bank Building was built on the corner of the main crossroads of the rising town — Washington Street (the main business district) and old Walker Avenue (today, 16th Street.)  At the save time, Arndt Hardware store was construction in the lot just to the north.  The brick work of these two builds, (and many others in town) was done by John Moore (the father of Philip Sheridan “Sherry” Moore. Sherry Moore was the father of Ruth Blanchard.)

An illustration of the building  appears in A. T. Andreas’ 1882 history of the county.  It was labeled as “Washington County Bank.” Most likely this was reference to a bank in Washington County and not “The” Washington County Bank that has its roots in neighboring Arlington, Nebraska.

Over the years, the bank building was also used as the offices for the Enterprise Newspaper, dentist office and a barber. It was also known as Mathiesen Building, the Huber Building and is currently (as of 2016) known as Two Blair Place.

In a photo published in the 1908 county plat map, the second floor window shows a sign marked “Dentist”  and the basement level has signs labeled “Bath” & “Shave.”  There is evidence from other photographs and maps that the Blair Democrat Newspaper offices were accessed from a doorway on the south side of the building. That door has since been bricked over.

Today, the building interior still retains several original features. The front office space where the bank tellers were located still has some of the early floor tiles.  The bank safe is still located in this area. The stairway to the second floor and some of the doorway woodwork is from an early era.

A Note from Dick Lippincot
I had many haircuts in the basement of that building as well as having my shoes shined while I waited to get into Fred Nemetz’ chair.  I also had gold hammered into my front teeth by Dr. Jipp (Ed’s father) in that building.

Other occupants of the build were:

  • Walter Huber
  • Dick Hansen Surveyors
  • Soil Conservation Office
  • Tanning Salon (in basement in the l990s)
  • Alfred O. Sick Realtor (in basement in between 1972-1986)
  • Barbers McComb, Luellan & Buckman

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Blair Historic Preservation Alliance | P.O. Box 94 | Blair, Nebraska 68008 | contact@blairhistory.com