D & D Bean Co. - 701 7TH ST/721 7TH AV

 Print Listing Historical Name - Greeley Mercantile Co./Farr Produce Co.
Style - Late 19th and Early 20th Century American Movements/Commercial Style
Built Year - 1882
State ID - 5WL4102

Description - Large two-story brick commercial building on corner lot with railroad tracks to east and gravel street adjacent on east. Flat roof with crenellated parapet on façade; roof steps down toward north and building has one-story section toward rear. Metal superstructure on roof. Foundation is concrete and brick. Symmetrical façade is composed of brown and dark red brick and has an arcaded frieze; this brick and cornice wrap around the corners and extend a short distance on the east and west walls. First story has large round arched entrance with stone keystone and gauged brick surround. Arched transom with multiple lights. Terra cotta molding in twisted serpentine motif around opening. Double wood doors with rectangular lights flanked by sidelights have panels below. Pilasters support entablature above doors. Flanking entrance are large three-part plate glass windows with brick sills shaded by metal awnings. Two 6/6-light double-hung sash windows centered above these windows on second story. Course of bricks on end at bottom of front wall. East and west walls composed of orange brick. East wall has paneled and corbelled brick cornice. Painted company name on east wall "Bean Company" is legible. Two-story part of east wall has flat and segmental arched 2/2-light double-hung sash windows with brick hoodmolds. Concrete loading dock on north end of east wall is sheltered by shed roof with post supports. Double hinged wood doors facing ramp south of dock. Bricked in window on upper story. Corrugated metal clad enclosed section of porch at north end of east wall extends into three-story shed roof tower. North (rear) wall has raised, poured concrete foundation, orange brick walls, and metal clad upper story. First story has center, inset, paneled door that is above grade. Windows with flat arches and brick sills flank door. Second shed roof tower at west end. West wall has flat arched windows sheltered by awnings on first story and short brick chimney.

Historical Background - A photograph in Greeley and Weld County (page 49) indicates that this building housed Mead and Company (a dealer in agricultural implements and farm machinery) and was built in 1882. The building was sold to the Greeley Mercantile Company in 1886. City Directories indicate that this building was associated for many years with the Greeley Mercantile Company (at this address in the 1892-1922 directories) and the Farr Produce Company (at this address in 1906-1960s directories). The Greeley Mercantile Company was established in 1886. Officers included O.P. Gale, president, and H.C. Watson, vice president and manager. Directors of the company included such prominent men as Bruce F. Johnson, Jared L. Brush, and George H. West. The company organized to find a market for the Greeley potato. An 1897 clipping in the museum files noted that "an enormous business is transacted yearly." The article also noted that a year after the business was formed the building's capacity was doubled. The Greeley Mercantile introduced the Dowden digger which became indispensable for potato farmers. The company handled potatoes of all varieties, which it shipped across the country. In 1890 David Boyd, historian of the Union Colony, wrote, "The principal depot for farming produce is the large warehouse of the Greeley Mercantile company. It has a capacity of about one hundred and twenty-five carloads of potatoes and twenty-five carloads of grain. It has for some time been under the able management of Henry C. Watson…. Its capital stock is $30,000." The Farr Produce Company shared the building with Greeley Mercantile in 1906-1913, and was the sole occupant from about 1918 to the 1960s. The company had been listed at 1031 10th St. in 1898. The Farr family moved to the Greeley area in the 1870s and homesteaded what is now Farr Park. W.H. "Billy" Farr, a Canadian immigrant, was encouraged by Greeley banker Charles Jackson to enter the potato shipping business. Farr Produce Company began in 1890. According to his grandson, W.D. Farr, Greeley was the largest potato shipping point in the United States until the late 1920s. After Idaho became preeminent in the potato business, local farmers switched to pinto beans. The Farr Produce Co. bought this building, built an elevator for dry beans, and remodeled the front of the building. The building originally had soft locally made brick which was deteriorating and the new façade was of hard red brick from Denver. The interior was remodeled with offices on the west side and bookkeeping and rail offices on the east side. During the 1930s and 1940s the Farr Produce Company became one of the largest distribution companies for dried mixed beans in the country. Harry Farr took over the business from his father and later divided it between his two sons. The Farr family's operations included several businesses, including Farr Farms, Farr Feeders, and the 21,000-acre 70 Ranch. When Harry Farr died in 1965 the building was sold to D&D Bean Co., which was still listed here in 1970.