Archived Story

Physician designed medical building

Published 4:36pm Saturday, October 13, 2012

In 2009, consultants Bolton & Menk, Inc. researched the history of the Old Medical Building at 605 Main Street in downtown Austin. Their report is on file at the Mower County Historical Society and has some interesting details. Researchers drew heavily on articles in the Austin Daily Herald from 1928 and 1929.

“The Medical Building was constructed during the year of 1928. It is located near the current intersection of Main Street and 1st Drive NW (previously Lansing Avenue). The building was funded and designed by Dr. Clifford C. Leck who was a prominent physician in Austin, Minnesota since at least 1902. Dr. Leck had received his medical degree from the University of Minnesota in 1900.

The building was built in a vacant lot on the north end of Main Street, in between the Manhattan Oil Station and the Wagner Construction Company office. It is also the former location of a steamboat landing which took day passengers to Columbia Park located up the Cedar River. The steamboat could carry as many as 75 people in one trip. The steamboat was in operation until at least 30 years before excavation began, roughly 1898. When the location was no longer used as a landing, it was a convenient dumping ground for household, farm, and construction waste. The location was easily accessible for people to dump their farm manure …

The first floor primarily housed the medical offices of Dr. Leck and Dr. James Morrow. Other offices on the first floor were reserved for a dentist and two optometrists. Four private apartments were constructed on the second floor, with modern amenities including an electric refrigerator and closet beds…

The Medical Building had many amenities including a laboratory, an x-ray machine, a fluoroscope, a minor surgical room, and a large reception room complete with a fireplace.”


•Monday: Board of Directors, 8:30 a.m.

•Tuesday: Social Concerns: Avoiding Bank Fraud Scams by Andrea Hodges from US Bank at 10 a.m.; Board of Trustees at 4 p.m.

•Thursday: Remembering Downtown Austin at 12 p.m. Free to members of either HHH or Mower County Historical Society, $5 admission to non-members. Please register to attend at 433-4243.

•Friday: Austin’s Best Bartender BBQ at 5 p.m. Piggy Blues BBQ available for purchase. $5 cover.


Coming Soon

•Halloween Costume Dance for Kids: Saturday, Oct. 27, 3 to 5 p.m. $1 admission, offered in cooperation with the Mower County 4-H Ambassadors.

•Home for the Holidays: Nov. 8, 9 and 10 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

•Harris Piano Competition: Nov. 17. Details online at

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