By 1890, Welch’s store became one of the most visited stores in the area. Welch’s store was close to 30 feet back from the edge of the present courthouse lawn. It would have sat on the corner of Flener* Avenue and Broadway.
After Bud Tate’s store was closed, Welch built his store around 1885. At first, it was just a wood frame structure, but by the early 1900’s, they had such a thriving trade that he was able to construct a larger brick and mortar store. This thrived until the early 1910’s before it went out of business.
This photo shows a good example of an early storefront in Poteau, Oklahoma.
*”Flener” is actually the correct way of spelling the street name. In the 1930s or 1940s, the sign was replaced with the current misspelled name. The street is named after Melvin Flener, who was a railroad agent and early day hotel owner.