Thomas Polson established a general store in Cedar Vale, Kansas known as the "Opera House Store". It was so named because it had a stage complete with a curtain which provided the center of entertainment for the community. The stage occupied the entire second floor of the store. The store sold hardware, groceries, textiles, farm supplies and clothing. At various times, the store offered the Wichita Orchestra and the skilled direction of Miss Love (straight from Chicago to fit the ladies hats).
T. M. Polson came from Elgin to Cedar Vale fours years ago and has become one of the active businessmen of the city. He owns the Big Caney Roller Mills, which have a capacity of fity barrels per day; also an elevator at the railroad yards. He has recently completed the Opera House block, which is a fine two story building, the upper floor of which is the Opera House with a seating capacity of 700. Mr. Polson has opened up a stock of general merchandise in the lower part of the block. The Cedar Vale National Bank occupies half the frontage to a depth of sixty feet, the remainder being used by Mr. Polson.
This information comes from Pat Molder. She is related to the Polson family. This is an abridged version of her entries along with that from a souvenir booklet concerning Cedar Vale ("Dawn of the Twentieth Century"). Thank you, Pat ... for this very interesting account of the Opera House.