A History of 1502 Locust Street

Sometimes the history of a building or property is more interesting than its present purpose. The northwest corner of North 15th and Locust is one of these places. This is a history of 1502 Locust Street.

The most important thing is to know that what is now a single lot was once home to several storefronts and houses with addresses ranging from 1502 Locust to 1518 Locust, and everything in between. The current buildings were conjoined between 1960 and 1965, when two houses at 1512 and 1516 were removed from the lot.

This is a view of the northwest corner of N. 15th and Locust behind the billboard in 1947. Pic courtesy of the Durham Museum.

After WWII, 1502 Locust became Brown Hay and Feed Company, and in the late 1950s it became Burns Hay and Feed Company. In the early 1960s it was called Frontier Service Station, and included an AMMCO Brake Shop, and the Frontier Refining Company. By the early 1970s it was called the Husky Service Company. The Al English Garage, North Omaha Towing, and Gibson Petroleum all operated there in the 1980s. In 1996 the building was on lit on fire by arsons, with firefighters blaming either picketers at Chubbs or “juveniles who have been seen using the building.”

John E. Gibson sold it to John H. McPherson for $20k in 2004, and he sold it to Jack Levell III in 2018 for the same amount. Levell incorporated Locust Street Auto there in 2019.

This is a 1955 view of the northwest corner of N. 15th and Locust, within the large trees shown.

In 1916, there was a Scandinavian bakery at 1518 Locust called Olson’s Bakery. It’s attached to 1502 Locust now. Olson kept his shop just until 1918 when he was drafted into WWI. Next it was run by John H. Gugler, who lived in a house with his family at 1512 Locust. The business became the Carter Lake Bakery, selling 4 pound loaves of “genuine Danish rugbrod pumpernickle” for 35 cents. In 1935, the World-Herald featured him for doing an innovative thing. He apparently traded clients huge sacks of flour from the government in exchange for loaves of bread, keeping a cut of the flour for himself. It mustn’t have worked out for him though, because by 1936 the shop was called the Cake Box Bakery. They advertised fine delicacies.

That bakery only lasted for a year. In 1938, the address was home to the Mahan Cafe, which was sold to Paul Adams the next year and added onto. In 1939 that place was robbed of “twelve dozen rolls, three pies, glasses and dishes.”

This is the 2022 Google image of the northwest corner of N. 15th and Locust. 1502 Locust is shown to the left.

In 1941, a man named John Agosta was arrested by the OPD Vice Detail and state liquor agents “on charges of selling liquor without a license and permitting dancing without a permit.” The address isn’t mentioned in the news again after that.

Paul Adams Grocery used the address 1510 Locust Street for at least 20 years. It wasn’t mentioned again after 1971.

Today the lot is home to Affordable Tires and Locust Street Auto.

You Might Like…

  • A History of 16th and Locust
  • A History of Carter Lake
  • A History of North 16th Street

2 Comments

  1. I used to get my pet rabbits food at Browns Hay and Feed when I was about 13. Mrs Brown was a sweet older lady. She told me I was a nice boy and was always so neat and clean.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s