920 3rd Avenue
Landmark Designation: 1986
Construction Date: 1897
Architectural Style: Edwardian
Jarvis Marvin and Lida Cole Fox were married in 1864. J.M. Fox operated a
flour mill with his brother in Riverside, Illinois. Following the death of
their son. J.M. and Lida headed west with their daughter, Mabel Fox, and joined
the Second Chicago-Colorado Colony which arrived in Longmont in 1872.
In the year of their arrival, J.M. built the first flour mill in Longmont.
In 1873, he signed the Town's incorporation documents and became one of the
"founding fathers" of Longmont.
It is reported that the first flour ground at the mill was taken home to
Lida who baked the first loaf of bread from locally milled flour. The mill
was located on the south corner of 3rd Avenue and Main Street. J.W.
Denio came with Fox from Illinois and was employed by Fox as a miller for
a year and a half.
Mr. Fox had a series of business partners in the milling business and in
the late 1880's or early 1890's, Mr. Fox gave up the milling business and
went into the cattle business in Wyoming.
The Fox family was active in both establishing the Episcopal Mission and
later in the construction of St.
Stephen's Episcopal Church.
The Fox's had two additional daughters upon relocating to Longmont. Julia
died at age 4 and Ethel died at age 27. The surviving child, Mabel married
Frank M. Downer in 1884.
Frank Downer came to Longmont in 1881. He became associated with the Emerson
and Buckingham Bank. He served as the town clerk from 1883-1884, later as
town trustee, and finally was elected as Mayor in 1898. He also served as
chairman of the Boulder County Republican Party. Frank Downer's contribution
to the area's sugar beet industry was even greater than that of Fox to the
wheat economy. The area's farmers were desperately seeking to raise sugar
beets but had no readily accessible sugar processing factory. The result was
a concentrated effort by farmers and businessmen to attract this new industry
to Longmont. Downer became an officer of the newly former Longmont Beet Sugar
Company, later named the Longmont Sugar Company. The Company existed on paper
only because of the lack of a sugar mill. Downer made several trips to New
York at his own expense to convince H.O. Havemeyer to build a factory in Longmont.
After several false starts, a commitment from the American Beet Sugar Company
was obtained. In mid-October 1903, the first sugar beets were delivered to
the new factory which was built east of town on the Secor property. In 1905,
the factory became an integral part of the Great Western Sugar Company.
Downer sold his commercial interests and was appointed the first superintendent
of the Denver Mint in 1907 and served until 1913. He later served as Denver's
Manager of Safety from 1910-1912.