Then and Now

North Monroe near Indiana

Not much is left from the early development at the intersection of Monroe St., Indiana and Northwest Blvd. Sturdy brick buildings have been replaced by restaurants and fast food joints, shops and wood-framed retail shops. The hold-out is the Boulevard Blvd., at far right, which has housed a hardware store from 1912 until last year.


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Image One Photo Archive The Spokesman-Review Image Two Jesse Tinsley The Spokesman-Review

Not much is left from the early development at the intersection of Monroe St., Indiana and Northwest Blvd. Sturdy brick buildings have been replaced by restaurants and fast food joints, shops and wood-framed retail shops. The hold-out is the Boulevard Blvd., at far right, which has housed a hardware store from 1912 until last year. The business had been Monroe Hardware and, later, Stewart’s Hardware, selling shovels, laundry wringers, framing nails and galvanized wash tubs to folks in the neighborhood. One owner, in the 1940s, was Clarence D. Martin, born in 1886, a Cheney farm boy who became governor of Washington in the Great Depression. Martin, whose name is on the WSU Cougars’ stadium, was swept into office in 1932 with FDR and set about regulating banks, getting state money for Grand Coulee dam construction and trying to create jobs. The conservative Democrat campaigned hard, but used only his own money for the effort and was proud that he “gave away no cigars, kissed no babies and promised no jobs.” He even raised some hackles by appointing Republicans to key state jobs. Martin closely followed the case of Herbert Niccolls, Jr., convicted of first-degree murder of Sheriff John Wormell during a robbery in 1931. Niccolls was twelve years old. Martin wrote to the boy and visited him in prison and later paroled the 21-year-old after 10 years in prison. Martin lost the election of 1940. He gave generously to student scholarships and his alma mater, Cheney Normal School, which became Eastern Washington University. After his death in 1955, the Spokesman-Review said “He served the state well throughout eight critical years of its history.”


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