LOOKING BACK: The history of a Washington Street mainstay

Published 8:00 am Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Nancy Bell | Vicksburg Foundation for Historic Preservation 

This two-story commercial building at 1105 Washington St. was built prior to 1877 and was a dry goods store at that time.

In 1886, it was a clothing store with an apartment on the second floor. In January 1894, Lowry Harwood opened his drug store in the building and F. G. Harwood opened his photography studio on the second floor in February.

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By 1895, the drug store was closed and the Mosinger’s Dry Goods Store was operating on the first floor with the photography studio remaining on the upper floor. By 1906, Nora Homburger operated Mosinger’s and the store was called Homburger’s Dry Goods. Nora’s first husband, Manuel Mosinger, died in the yellow fever epidemic of 1878 at thirty-three years of age.

The Mosingers had one daughter, Jennie. Nora married Joseph Homburger in 1885. In 1906, they lived above the dry goods store with many of their children. Nora was born in Posen, Germany in 1852 and lived until 1947, dying at the age of 95. Joseph was also from Germany and for many years was a partner in the wholesale grocery firm of Homburger and Feith. He was a city alderman for 16 years and then after he retired from that office, ran for the Justice of the Peace, a position he held until he died in March 1911. He was a member of the Knights of Pythias.

The Vicksburg Evening Post reported on his death, stating that “he was always a mild-mannered man, a staunch friend, charitable and generous to a fault, and during his long career he has been most generous with his means.”

By 1911, the Homburgers had moved their residence to Grove Street and 1105 was occupied by Howard’s Drug Store, run by Dr. W.F. Howard.

W.E. Mollison, a lawyer, had offices on the second floor. By 1914, it was W.P. Harrison’s Drug Store and two lawyers maintained offices on the second floor with Mollison: T.G. Ewing, Jr. and C.B. Minor.

In 1918, Sample Shoe Store was operating from the building, with Ewing, H.R. Coon and Dr. J.H. Spencer upstairs.

M.A. Zanfell Dry Goods rented the building in 1924 and then in 1929, Abraham Brothers Dry Goods had been established there with Ewing still renting the second floor until the 1930s when Haseeb Abraham is listed upstairs.

The building’s original façade was changed in the 1970s, but the older photo shows the building prior to these changes. The building continues to be owned by Abraham’s.