Seneca in Nemaha County, Kansas — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
The Felt Block
The Pony Express Museum is housed in the restored Felt Block built in 1880 by Seneca resident Andrew Felt, who later became Lt. Governor of Kansas. The design is an urbane Italianate style using cast iron fronts with applied columns and window caps - all made at a foundry in Seneca. The central entrance with a triangular pediment and stairs serve second floor offices.
As Seneca prospered, brick, stone and iron were the preferred building materials. Seneca's early Main Street had hastily built false-front structures as seen in many western movies, but after the Great Chicago Fire of 1870, most prairie towns discouraged wooden structures in their downtowns.
The Felt Block first housed a grocery store and the offices and presses of the Seneca Tribune that was established by Mr. Felt. After 1919 the building housed dry goods businesses; the last was Strathman's Variety which offered an array of merchandise for Seneca's fashion conscious. Strathman's closed in the 1960s yielding to chains such as J.C. Penney (two blocks away) which offered catalog items direct from Chicago and New York.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Architecture • Communications • Government & Politics • Industry & Commerce. A significant historical year for this entry is 1880.
Location. 39° 50.067′ N, 96° 3.677′ W. Marker is in Seneca, Kansas, in Nemaha County. Marker is at the intersection of 4th Street and Main Street, on the right when traveling north on 4th Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Seneca KS 66538, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Pony Express Home Station (within shouting distance of this marker); The Smith Hotel (within shouting distance of this marker); The First National Bank (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Railroads (about 400 feet away); The Buggy Store (about 600 feet away); City Hall (about 700 feet away); The Seneca Post Office (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Seneca Free Library (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Seneca.
Also see . . .
1. Pony Express National Historic Trail. (Submitted on March 17, 2013, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. City of Seneca, Kansas. (Submitted on March 17, 2013, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
3. Seneca Main Street Historic District National Register Nomination . (Submitted on March 17, 2013, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Credits. This page was last revised on September 8, 2020. It was originally submitted on March 17, 2013, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 269 times since then. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on March 17, 2013, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.