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These twin buildings were constructed between 1890 and 1895, a period near the close of Warrensburg's first period of robust population growth. The six bay windows demonstrate how the buildings were designed to promote commerce, with a dry goods store being the first to occupy 305 N. Holden while a general story operated at 307 N. Holden in 1895. By the 1950s, with the town experiencing another population boom amid a period of postwar prosperity, the buildings were home to an auto supply store and furniture store.

305 - 307 N. Holden St in Warrensburg, MO

305 - 307 N. Holden St in Warrensburg, MO

The two buildings that comprise 305-307 N. Holden St. were constructed sometime between 1890 and 1895, making them two of the oldest buildings in downtown Warrensburg (older than the adjoining, historic three-story Masonic Temple at 303 N. Holden). 

Both buildings emerged towards the end of Warrensburg's first period of substantial growth; the population grew from 982 in 1860 to 4,706 in 1890. The city's expansion, both in terms of population and economics, can be tied to the railroad that stopped in downtown Warrensburg. Sandstone quarries located north of the city benefitted from the railway's presence, and the quarries' growth helped the town grow. By the 1880s, the city supported a library, several attorneys, lumber yards, and a host of retail stores. Lastly, the development in 1893 of a nearby spring led to the construction of a resort area (helped by having that water shipped to other markets), and it provided the downtown region with the highly-regarded water for drinking. 

The building's street-side has six bays, demonstrating its purpose as a commercial building. The two stores that opened in 1895 included a dry goods store (305 N. Holden) and the Shyrack & Co. General Store (307 N. Holden), both of which speak to the era they served. During the twentieth century, Shepard's Dry Goods (1932-1972) and Warrensburg Auto Supply (1952-1980) operated in 305 N. Holden Street, while the 307 N. Holden building served as the home to such companies as McMeekin Furniture (1958-1967), and Farmers Insurance (1972).

It's no surprise that auto supply and furniture stores operated from the historic location after World War II. The auto age, automobile tourism era, and the newly-formed Whiteman Air Force Base and Central Missouri State College near Warrensburg led to a new population boom with a remarkable 70% increase during the 1950s. With so many people moving into new homes, furniture proved necessary, and with so many people owning cars, auto dealers and related businesses were common.

"1890 Building at 305-307 N. Holden St., Warrensburg, MO." Show Me the History: Johnson County & West Central Missouri (blog). Accessed December 2, 2021.

Christopher, W.T. "Warrensburg's Architectural and Historical Heritage." Show-Me Regional Planning Commission. Accessed December 2, 2021.

Nugent, Rachel and Alison Dunleavy. "Registration Form: Holden and Pine Streets Commercial Historic District. 305-307 N. Holden St. (Legal Aid of Western Missouri; Troy Losh-North and Mary Ann Young, Attorneys)." National Register of Historic Places. 2017.

Sheals, Debbie and Carol Grove. "Multiple Property Documentation Form: Warrensburg, Missouri." National Register of Historic Places. 2012.

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