The Elk Cigar Store was a business in Marshall, Michigan.


The Elk appears to have opened in 1904 in the building at 208 West Michigan, itself home to W. J. Dowsett Plumbing Shop, and was operated by various owners including Fahay, Drummey, Burton, Muck, and Frank Bellairs[1].  It was owned by William Muck for 26 years (c.1909-35) before selling it to Ed Grable of Olivet in 1935, who took immediate possession[2]. Grable was later approved an application for a Class A restaurant license in order to sell beer for consumption on the premises[3].

William Black was said to be proprietor around 1924[4].

A 1936 advertisement announces the opening of a shooting gallery in the basement[5], with C.L. Higbie becoming manager of the Deuce Shooting Gallery the following year[6].

There was also a three lane bowling alley located in Elks in 1915[1], and/or 1939-1964[7]. The W.C. Muck bowling alley in the basement of Elks flooded in 1943[8].

Frank Bellairs, John's father, retired in 1956 after operating the Elk for 16 years (c.1940)[9].

In 1957, the name changed to Pub Tavern (1957) and went through a succession of names: Charlie’s Tavern (1964), Wag-On-In (1972), and Brass Tacks (1987)[1].

While the Elk was probably more known for its beer and wine, it may have sold its share of tobacco products. Marshall was home to a number of cigar manufactures in the late 19th Century, including some with the more colorful names as "The Cream of the Weed," "Ladysmith," and "Two Johns"[10].

Bellairs Corpus



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 A History of Marshall; Richard Carver (1993); page 49.
  2. "Wm. Mick Sells Elk Cigar Store."  Marshall Evening Chronicle (Dec. 3, 1935).
  3. "Move For Leg. Session Is Rejected,"  Marshall Evening Chronicle (Dec. 17, 1935).
  4. "County Fair Books Mailed."  Battle Creek Enquirer (Jun. 29, 1924).
  5. Marshall Evening Chronicle (Dec. 19, 1936).
  6. "News Briefs," Marshall Evening Chronicle (Jan. 23, 1937).
  7. A History of Marshall; Richard Carver (1993); page 518.
  8. "Stores Flooded By Broken Main", Battle Creek Enquirer (Jan. 21, 1943).
  9. "F. E. Bellairs dies; WWI Vet, Merchant," Battle Creek Enquirer (Nov. 12, 1983).
  10. A History of Marshall; Richard Carver (1993); pages 543-4.