The Warren Cultural Center
Edward Earnest Warren was born in New London, Iowa on March 31, 1862. He was educated at the private New London Academy. In 1879 Edward moved to Greenfield and was employed by A.P. Stephens & Company for two years. He was then transferred to the company's store in Creston for two years. Mr Warren returned to Greenfield in 1883 as a partner under the firm's new name of "Fuller, Warren & Company". Edward, together with his brother F.C. Warren, purchased the business in 1886 and called it "Warren Brothers Company". In 1889 Edward became the sole owner of the business.
In 1884 Edward married Eva Mary Viers from Fontanelle, Iowa. Eva was born in Washington, Iowa in 1863. The two began a life long partnership.
The Warrens built their new store and opera house in 1896, in company with John J. Hetherington. Mr Hetherington was born in Pennsylvania in 1842. At the age of 38, John was a banker in Greenfield.
The idea of a building containing both a store and opera house was first announced in Greenfield in 1895. The building site was formerly occupied by the original courthouse which had burned down.
The building's store conducted its Grand Opening on December 1, 1896. The storefront windows had been curtained until the opening ceremony. At 7:30pm the curtains were raised and the crowd rushed the door, breaking it from the force. A string quintet provided live music for visitors. Upstairs the Opera House was awaiting its chairs. Mr Warren finally had his own store building. In 1913 the business became titled "Warren Dry Goods Company". Eva worked as the company's bookkeeper.
Mr Hetherington was simultaneously building his new store along side the EE Warren Opera House.
The fact that Greenfield was to gain an Opera House was news that spread statewide.
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