A Brief History of the Building
The building was built in 1913 by German immigrant C.H. Schmidt. He came from Germany in 1890 and married Miss Anna Schulze in 1891 and built their first store. Mr. Schmidt started as a shoemaker, and his wife baked cookies to sell in the store, along with sardines, sauerkraut in barrels, and bought produce and poultry from the local farmers and shipped them to Houston for resale. They eventually outgrew two buildings, before they established the present building, which allowed them to start purchasing sugar, flour, coffee, seed fertilizer, and grain that was delivered by the carloads by the trains.
In 1921 Mr. Schmidt died, and Anna went into partnership with Mr. Monroe Harris. In 1973 Mr. Harris died, and his son Calvin Henry Harris took over, and named it the Harris General Merchandise Store, managed by Melvin Pietsch beginning in 1960.
Since then the building has changed hands several times and is now owned by Richard Orona and Georgianna Fox, purchased from Prince “Boykie” and Sherry Murphy in January 2005, and is largely in its original condition, such as the old tin ceiling, brick walls, and an intriguing mirrored bar.