221 Georgia was built Circa 1866.1 The first business to establish themselves at 221 Georgia that we know of was A.B. Ayres & Co. Amos B. Ayres and John T. Hesser ran a dry goods and tailor store in this location in 1875.2
The Mercantile Bank was first established in 1880 in this building. Articles of Association were filed with Alexander A Lessueur, Missouri Secretary of State on January 29, 1891. According to the Deed of Record for Pike County, MO, The capital stock was $50,000.00 divided into shares of $100.00 each. Original majority stockholders were: W. G. Tinsley (170), A. Tinsley (60), T.L. Tinsley (40), A.J. McCune (50), W. N. Tinsley (40), John E. Shannon (12), John J. McCune (12), John A. Mackey (12), A. Pribe (12), M. Morris (10), J. W. Dreyfus (12), D. A. Ball (10), T.M. Rhea (24), Marcus Dreyfus (12), I. N. Jump (12), and G. R. Waddell (12).
The business of the Corporation was to be managed by a board of thirteen directors with the following being the Board of Directors for the first year: W.G. Tinsley, A. Tinsley, W.N. Tinsley, A.J. McCune, John A. Mackey, T.M. Rhea, J. E. Shannon, G. R. Waddell, I.N. Jump, M. Dreyfus, J.J. McCune, A. Pribe, and D.A. Ball.
1The stores 211, 213, 219 & 221 Georgia were owned by Dr. Ezekiel Merrell Bartlett per the 1868 Pike County real estate records and valued at $8,000. The $8,000 for the four buildings compared to the other buildings on that block lead me to believe the current buildings were in place in 1868. The September 1885 Sanborn maps show brick buildings with the same footprint as the current buildings when allowing for the outdoor patio which is behind 215-219. Considering the above facts we believe the buildings were built Circa 1866.
21875/76- “Hawley’s Classified Business Directory (1875-1876).” n.d. Louisiana, Missouri.