Stop #1: Introduction (Smoky Hill Museum) – 211 W. Iron Ave.

H.D. Lee Wholesale Mercantile complete force, 1924

In the fall of 1889, a Pullman car rolled into Salina carrying Henry David Lee. He arrived with a complete office and executive staff of people from Galion, Ohio, mainly people who had worked with him at Central Oil Company. With a paid-in capital of $100,000, he selected this town as the site of the Lee Mercantile Company, an exclusive wholesale grocery house, the only one of its kind between Kansas City and Denver.

During the years that followed, Lee developed several more businesses around the parent company: The Lee-Warren Milling Company, the Kansas Ice & Storage Company, the Farmers National Bank of Salina, and the Lee Wholesale Hardware Company. All of these concerns were incorporated separately, but all were directed and controlled by H.D. Lee.

For a period of nearly thirty years, Lee, as president of five businesses, employed the largest work force in the city of Salina.

This is a tour of the H.D. Lee Employee homes in Salina.

Next Stop: Proceed west across 8th and 9th Streets to The Campbell House at 122 South 9th.