Original Building - The Commercial Hotel

Hix Brothers Building


1128 Main Street

The late 1800's saw a first-class commercial hotel operating at this sight. J S Beeler announced in 1879 in the Lexington-Lafayette Sentinel that his four-story commercial hotel "has been repaired, repainted & elegantly furnished with new furniture, as well as a ticket office for the narrow gauge railroad serving all points west".

Hix Bros. Dry Goods This hotel stood until 1907 when it burned to the ground. Following this, in 1908, John Hix, as he put it "bought a hole in the ground" and built the two-story Hix building. He and his brother, Dow Hix, operated a general merchandise & dry goods store. They were joined about 1918 by their brother, Arch Hix. The three brothers operated the store until 1954 when the business was purchased by their great nephew, Maury Morris Cox & his wife, Patricia. Additional owners of the store were Patricia Cox's parents, Harry & Hazel Lauer. This group previously had Cox's Corner at 9th & Main St. Mr & Mrs Cox enlarged the building. They operated the store as Cox's Dept Store, selling dry goods, fine gifts, sleepwear, china, crystal, housewares, paint, floor coverings & toys. In 1972, they sold the operation to Morris Cox's first cousin, John Morris & his wife Betty, who operated the store for a few years before closing it. Morris & Pat Cox, with their son Doug, re-opened the store under the name Cox Corner offering a scaled inventory & space.

Cox Corner In 1982, Frederick Tempel, a great nephew of the Hix brothers and also a first cousin of Morris Cox, purchased the store & operated it as Cox Corner. Over the 20 years ownership by Mr Tempel & his wife Abigail, the store was enlarged & redesigned to include what had been Estrin's Jewelry Store (1126 Main St.) that was part of the Hix building. Mr Tempel continued selling fine gifts, sleepwear & paint, but expanded the operations to include a gourmet food dept. & year-round holiday shop. He also served as the sole Western Union agent in the area. Mr & Mrs Tempel decided to close the store at the end of 2000, after 92 years of continuous family ownership. The property was sold by Mrs Cox to Robert & Margie Langdon. They re-opened the building as the Lexington Antique Company, purveyors of fine European antiques, access & holiday items & children's wear.

It should be noted that the second floor of this building was occupied beginning in 1908 for offices & treatment rooms by Drs Nicholas Bryan Payne and his son, Bryan Temple Payne, as well as dentist Dr William Smith & his son, Dr Les Smith. The Payne medical practice closed in 1961. The younger Dr Smith following his father's retirement, moved his practice to the south end of Lexington in the late 1970's. Also occupying the second floor was the Selective Service office that was directed by Elmira Tabb (Mrs Peyton Tabb) until about 1972, when the military draft ended.