Created By: Coleman Memorial Museum
50 Main - Coleman Memorial Museum (Originally Farmers National Bank)
This building has served three vital functions in the community. Originally a bank, it later housed the residence and practice of Ellendale's premier dentist, Dr. Loren Coleman; now as the Coleman Memorial Museum, it serves as the headquarters for Ellendale's Historic memory.
Farmers National Bank built this structre in 1910. The Irwin Hotel, which had previously stood on this location, had been destroyed along with most of the businesses on the north side of West Main. The fire was tragic, but the benefits far-reaching. The Ellendale Opera House was constructed to replace the lost buildings on the north side of the street. And the owners of the Farmers Bank (established 1906) built an extremely solid brick-and-concrete structure that was extremely fireproof.
The Premium Booklet for the first Dickey County Fair (1920) announced the completion of a remodeling project at the bank. The original stairway that descended from near the main floor vault to the basement was closed off and a new stairway was built. Additional walls were installed in the basement, and two full restrooms were created, one complete with a shower. The Farmers Bank advertised that these new "Rest Rooms" were available for everyone's use, as a place to relax and rest as well as attend to normal bodily needs.
Due to severe economic stresses in the 1920s, Ellendale's three banks were forced to consolidate. In 1925 the Ellendale National Bank merged with the Farmers Bank. In 1928, the Farmers Bank in turn was folded into the First National Bank of Ellendale, now Starion Bank.
The superb building was left vacant for a short time, then Dr. Loren Coleman, who had conducted his dental practice in the second floor of the Opera House Block, purchased it and moved both his practice and his family into it. Dr. Coleman purchased new dental equipment (some of which is now housed in the Museum) and went on to serve the community as a dentist for nearly forty more years.
The Ellendale Historical Society welcomes all visitors free of charge. Our summer hours for 2017 (through Labor Day) are Wednesdays at 10:AM-2:00 PM, Thursdays at 1:00-5:00, and Fridays at 1:00-5:00.
For information or a special tour of the museum, call Ken Smith, President of the Ellendale Historical Society, (349-2176 home, 701-320-2794 cell) or contact Jeanette Ruenz, official museum curator at 349-4329 (home) or 701-535-0442 (cell).
This point of interest is part of the tour: Ellendale - Tour of the Core City