Amen's Cafe 


Between August and October of 1905, this boom town expanded by 90 railcars of materials, with more arriving every day. The new businessmen had no time or method to obtain title to the land under their buildings. The General Land Office put forth a plan to sell lots to the highest bidder without regard to ownership of the businesses. The successful bidders would then have to pay the occupants for their improvements. Forty-two merchants objected because it would cause them to lose their hard-earned businesses. They banded together in January 1906 petitioning the U.S. Government to let them buy the land. In response, Congress passed a special act in 1907, allowing sale of the lots to the building owners, setting a nationwide precedent. John C. Weiner built the Weiner Cigar Factory, where he made and sold his famous, original JCW Brand, Pigtail cigars. They were sold in nearly every store, billiard hall and saloon that sold tobacco. On August 31, 1907, he received title to the land. Later it was a cobbler shop and Hanford's Studio, a photography shop. This was the last building on the east side of the square to convert to brick in the early 1950s. Side by side businesses, such as lunch counters, a barber shop and a children's clothing shop, were here until the early 1970s. The partition was later removed and the Amen-Barnes family operated a café for more than three decades, until it became Cathy's Kitchen. The brickwork, signboard, and original inset doorway are in excellent condition.