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This week’s picture comes from an early 1950s postcard. The August 10, 1950 Record-News tells us about the beginning of the Clinton Motel.
The motel was owned and built by the McCullough Motor Company which was owned by Clinton “Whitey” Rice and his wife Mabel McCullough Rice. Materials for the 244’ x 25’ motel came from Peterson Field (an Air Force Base) in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Twelve of the twenty-four units contained two beds and the other twelve had a single bed. The floors were of hard maple with a straight chair, rocking chair, and desk as furniture. The bathrooms each had a stool, lavatory, shower, and linoleum floors. The manager, Miss Dene Foltz, would occupy a three-room apartment. A laundry and furnace room adjoined the three-room apartment. Exterior lighting included red and green neon.
Dene Foltz was gone by 1953. At the end of October 1955, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Tennant succeeded Mr. and Mrs. Carson Williams who had been there since spring 1955. In October 1959, Mr. and Mrs. Ernie Johnson took over from the Tennants.
In March 1965, Mr. and Mrs. Lester Sickels became the new managers replacing Mr. and Mrs. Ainslee Triggs. By June 1968, Mr. and Mrs. Howard Paist were the managers of the Clinton Motel. Mr. and Mrs. Roy Pimper were in charge beginning in February 1971.
In July 1982, Mr. and Mrs. George Washburn came to succeed Mr. and Mrs. Nick Duros. Mr. and Mrs. Cory Robison took charge on August 1, 1983. Bill and Lois Johnson became the managers in October 1985. About 2001, Bob and Linda Haley became the last managers.
Paul Ramsey bought the Clinton Motel, owned by Mabel McCullough Rice, in August or September 2005. He closed the motel in September. Mr. Ramsey had opened the Mount Ayr Inn & Suites in July 2005.
The former Clinton Motel sat for about a year “For Sale.” A group of Amish bought it, dismantled the motel, and moved it to the rural areas in October 2006. In 2010, work began on the former motel site for the new jail and sheriff’s office. On October 27, 2011, an open house was held for the Ringgold County Law Enforcement Center. and Ringgold County Sheriff’s Office.
My favorite memory of the Clinton Motel took place in 1978. I was waiting for my turn in the shower, drinking beer, and watching Lawrence Welk on Public (black & white) Television. The Sons of the Pioneers came on and sang “Cool Water.” I fell in love with the song!