Snapshots of History
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I was flipping through an Arispe Centennial Book recently and saw information about Frank and Marilyn Eighme’s gas station in Arispe. They entered into business at this location in January 1970. This got my interest so let’s take a closer look.
Many of my readers may recall an article about Frank’s Service in “Our Iowa” magazine in late 2012. The two-page article included color photos. I photographed the filling station in 2003, which is seen with this article.
Frank Eighme began work for John Riepe in September 1958 in a Skylark filling station located across the highway from where Frank and Marilyn are now. Highway 169 was widened and slightly re-routed in 1969 and the Riepe station was dismantled. During part of this time, Frank operated the Skelly station on the south side of the Mount Ayr square.
Jerry Schlapia, who drove a gasoline truck, helped Frank start his current business. Schlapia Bros. became Frank’s first jobbers. Frank and Marilyn opened a Skelly station in their current structure in January 1970.
The station was built by Howard Nichols in 1969 and leased to the Eighmes by Howard. Upon Mr. Nichols death, the station was inherited by Craig Wasteney and he still leases the station to Frank and Marilyn. RK Fuels is the current jobber.
The station started out as a Skelly, and there is a Skelly clock on the wall today, but was a Texaco in the 1987 Arispe Centennial Book. After Texaco, the station went with Getty products and became independent later. Sinclair products are sold there today.
The above-ground tanks can be seen on the left in this week’s photo. The tanks were underground until about the early 1990s. The station began accepting credit cards in 2018 and preferred customers are extended credit.
There is a single hoist in the shop where Frank still does oil changes, minor repair, and tire work. At 82 years old, that’s all Frank cares to do! Tobacco is no longer sold at the station and Frank said that also put a stop to the break-ins.
I drive by Frank’s Service every morning on my way to work. In the summer, the “coffee club” has their chairs out on the driveway drinking coffee and I mean at six o’clock in the morning!
Frank’s Service will be 50 years old in January 2020 so stop in and wish them good luck. Or, if you drive by at 6 a.m., stop in for a cup of coffee.