Snapshot of History by Mike Avitt
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BY MIKE AVITT
The Clinton Motel opened in June 1950. Mabel McCullough Rice built the lodging from military barracks she bought in Colorado and trucked them to Mount Ayr. Mabel was an attorney, aviatrix, world traveler, entrepreneur, and philanthropist.
I have a partial list of the managers at the Clinton Motel (named after Clinton Rice, Mabel’s adopted son) that I don’t believe I have shared before. In chronological order they are: Dene Foltz, Mr. and Mrs. Carson Williams, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Tennant, Mr. and Mrs. Ernie Johnson, Mr. and Mrs. Ainslee Triggs, Mr. and Mrs. Lester Sickels, Mr. and Mrs. Howard Paist, Mr. and Mrs. Roy Pimper, Mr. and Mrs. Cory Robison, Bill and Lois Johnson, and Bob and Linda Haley. The motel closed in 2005. The Ringgold County Sheriff’s Office and Jail sits on the site today.
I vaguely remember the first time I stayed here. It was about 1976 and the rate was $11 or $13.
This week’s picture also shows the building now occupied by Paul Glendenning’s race car shop. I thought I had some early history of this building but I am mistaken.
In November 1957, Dean Simpson had a Studebaker-Packard dealership here. The business was called S & S Service. In April of 1958, a Skelly service station opened here and I can see the Skelly sign out front. There are also two tractors and other farm equipment on the driveway.
The Mount Ayr Record-News of October 2, 1958 tells us Harvey Bros. has leased the S & S Service building and will retain the Skelly service station. Harvey Bros. will maintain their D-X Station at their location north of the square, 200 N. Taylor. Harvey Bros. opened that D-X Station in April 1958.
I won’t have an article next week as I am going out of town. I have been invited to spend the week at Wildwood Hills Ranch near St. Charles, Iowa by MOVE (Men Of Vision Evangelize) Ministries, the same organization I went to Trinidad with. I’m looking forward to seeing some of the men I went on my first mission with and hearing about their trip to Cambodia, which I didn’t go on.