The Owens Motor Sales Company building at 709-719 University Avenue, St. Paul was designed in 1917 as a one-story auto showroom and garage for Thomas Owens. The building was considerably expanded in 1921 – 1923. In the midst of the expansion, Thomas Owens sold his interest to John B. Rihm, Harold Fry, and J. Rudolph Fry, who kept the Owens business name and the Ford dealership. Rihm, who had previously been head of sales for Owens, became president of the company. In 1932, Rihm established a separate car and truck dealership at 1641 University Avenue for the Hudson Motor Company, and Harold Fry became president of Owens Motor Sales. The Advance-Tower Laundry took over the Owens dealership property by 1956, and in 1991 the building was purchased by the current occupants, Lifetrack Resources, a nonprofit human services organization. The Rihm Motor Company, which was established as a full service heavy equipment and truck company, is still in business under the fourth generation of family management. Now known as Rihm Kenworth, it is located at 2108 University Avenue.
All photographs courtesy of Kari Rihm, President of the Rihm Motor Company.