Do You Remember The Cowman Building?

The Cowman building, erected by E.E. Cowman, circa 1916, was part of an ambitious effort, incorporating the construction of five buildings, to make the courthouse the center of “solid business houses on both sides of Dewey.” This two-story building was built with brick “of most modern fireproof construction.”

The building has had various occupants through the years including People’s Furniture, Cowman Printing Co., Davis-Rule Furniture, Rule-Reel Furniture, and Rule Furniture.

In 1940, Milford Davis and Otis Rule, owners of Davis-Rule Furniture, purchased the Cowman building and operated a “second hand” furniture store in the downstairs section of the building.

In 1945, Davis and Rule undertook a massive renovation project transforming the building into what the Sapulpa Herald called “One of the finest furniture stores in the Southwest.”

The lower part of the building around the windows was made of structural glass. In the center of the building were large display windows that were recessed seven feet. On the side of each large display window was an additional display window bordering the sidewalk.

The building had a large marquee that was illuminated at night by floodlights. The display windows were also illuminated, as was the case for most downtown businesses. They were turned off each night at approximately 10 p.m. by a merchant policeman.

The last occupant of the building was Doodle’s Hallmark. The building has been vacant for the last couple of years, however, plans are underway to convert the upstairs to loft apartments and remodel the downstairs for retail tenants. In December of 2019, panels from the Hallmark metal facade were being removed.

Photo by Charles Betzler
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Charles Betzler

Charles Betzler

Charles Betzler is a contributing writer for Sapulpa Times.