--photo courtesy Ivan Quattlebaum, White County Historical Society

This scene is from approximately 1900, when Gem Café operated on the southwest corner of Spring and Center in Searcy. Directly behind the café, Giles Walker had the City Meat Market. And, as the giant sign on the side of the building proclaims, Cokes were only a nickel. The name at the top of the front of the building is "O.W. James." At least four chimneys can be counted. The streetlight dangling from the wires overhead appears crude but was probably very effective. Note the onlookers in the upstairs windows, which obviously had no screens.