Alabama native Emerson Monroe Scarbrough (1846-1925) came to Texas following service in the Civil War and settled in Milam County, where he was a successful merchant. He opened a branch of his business, Scarbrough and Hicks, on Congress Avenue in 1893, moving one block north in 1894. In 1910, on this adjacent, prominent corner, he completed Austin's first skyscraper. His new building was designed in the Chicago style by Fort Worth architects Sanguinet and Staats. It was enlarged and redesigned with Art Deco elements in 1930-31 by Wyatt C. Hedrick, Inc. and Edwin Kreisle. An early leader in modern merchandising, Scarbrough's closed this downtown location in 1983.