Sunday, March 08, 2009

Can You Identify This Building?

This picture was sent in by the great grand daughter of Judge Will Putnam, who was a judge in Dundy County from 1938 to 1953. This picture was probably taken around 1950.

Can you identify the building located in Benkelman, Nebraska?
Does this building still exist? If so, what business now occupies it?
Is it possible that the building is in Stratton?

The men standing in the doorway are Harry Muir and Judge Will Putnam.

Enter your answer in the comments at the bottom of this post.
Thanks Kent, Vernon and La Vella for the comments: The building has been identified as the back door (east) of Knoles Ford Garage. If someone who lives in Benkelman would take a picture of it "as it looks today" and the front of the building, we will happily add it to this post.
But NOOOO We don't have an answer yet!!!
We have received more comments:

  1. There are similarities to the east side of the present Ford garage, but the surroundings are not the same and
  2. That it is the former Co-op building in Haigler which was torn down several years ago. It was just across the street from the railroad tracks.
  3. That to the left of the picture is another building which is not the Krotter and Sailors lumber yard which was across the street from the Ford garage so it can’t be Knoles.

If you have pictures of this building and know what and where it is, EMAIL US.



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  2. I was in Benkelman a lot during that period. The building does "ring a bell". First, I believe that is a 1951 Ford on the left, so the period you mention is correct. In the 1930's and I think early 1940's there was a Rainbow Ballroom on the southeast corner of A St. & 6th. Ave. At some point it became something else. Could this be the south side of that building - looking west? Across the street (to the west) of the old ballroom was a privately owned garage operated for a number of years by an individual whose name I have forgotten. The building in the background looks like it could be that one-room garage.

    Anyway, that is my best shot on what it is, and yes, I do remember Judge Putnam.

  3. The building, or wall, in question is the east wall of the current Knoles Ford building which faces the alley or as it is known around town, the Ford garage. I drove down the alley this morning to check for sure.

  4. The building has been identified !! The photo was posted on the Haigler Blog and Vernon said that the building in the photo is the east wall of the current Knoles Ford Building or as it is known around Benkelman -- the Ford Garage. Vernon drove down the alley to check for sure.

    The car was identified as a 1949 or 1950 Ford. The only difference between the two years was the Ford shield emblem above the license plate, but since this is not showing there is no way to tell. The tail lights were the same for both of those years.

    Thanks every everyone for solving the mystery. La Vella

  5. But NOOOO We don't have an answer yet!!!
    We have received more comments, so stay tuned. The verdict isn't in. There seems to be doubt about this building. We need more pictures. Has anyone checked Stratton? Could it be there?

  6. Oops, I may be wrong about the ID of the building in the photo, the Benkelman Post had the same photo in last weeks edition with the same question. I drove down the alley behind the Ford garage again and it sure looks like it, but, as the say, that was before my time.


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