Throwback Thursday – Bowling Green’s Isaac Newtons and 422 ½ Main Street

History is full of unusual coincidences and oddities, hitting hard like an apple falling from a tree. Such is the case for the story of 422 ½ Main Street and the Isaac Newtons of Bowling Green. While strolling the Downtown Heritage Walk on Fountain Square, notice the plaque designating the Nahm Building Tailor Shop in the alleyway between Main Street and Spring Alley.

The brick building itself was constructed sometime between 1895 and 1901 for a tailor shop. The small structure behind the main building was officially addressed 422 ½ Main Street, one of those historic oddities.

Hearsay from the records of Dr. John Younglove, whom another Fountain Square building is named, suggests a previous building on this site from before the 1840s was a famous hat shop belonging to Mr. Isaac Newton. This Isaac Newton is not to be confused with the famous 17th century mathematician and physicist who discovered gravity and wrote the universal laws of physics. There are a few Bowling Green Isaac Newtons we accidentally discovered while researching this story. Here’s where the historic coincidences take place. 

Isaac Newton served as Mayor and Trustee for the city between 1823 and 1839. It is said this Isaac Newton once sold a hat from 422 ½ Main Street and didn’t get paid until a year later, when the patron sent him fur from Missouri instead of cash. 

We found another Isaac Newton Miller in Bowling Green, whose family invited the community to the internment of his remains at his father’s home in November 1829, while the other Isaac Newton would have been mayor in office. 

We found a third Isaac Newton Brush, who lived 1835 to 1905 and ran a photography studio in Bowling Green sometime during the mid-1800s,  meaning he would have been living just in time to see Mayor Isaac leave office.