BY MIKE AVITT
I took this week’s photo in 2007. The convenience store had been closed for about a year by then.
The Farm Crisis of the early 1980s put retail businesses in a tailspin, but Kellerton had a bit of a business boom. We will look at some of what happened there beginning with the year 1978.
The new horseshoe street signs were erected in 1978, celebrating famed Kellerton horseshoe-pitching champion, Frank Jackson. In 1979, Kellerton’s Senior Housing complex opened. In October 1979, Roger and Lou O’Dell opened the Tradin’ Post in the former Brooks Food Store.
On March 2, 1980, the Kellerton Assembly of God Church dedicated their new addition. They are still meeting in that addition. Unique Boutique (salon) also opened in 1980 with Kathy Comer and Carla Straight as operators.
1981 brought the Kellerton Centennial and the publication of the centennial book. On August 1, 1981, the laundry was sold at public auction and would later become a bank.
In 1983, the O’Dells traded in the Tradin’ Post for the Branding Iron Bar. But 1984 would be the big year.
Chet and Norma Munyon opened Munyon Mini-Mart in June of 1984. A month later, they added a stock of groceries and there was a car wash in connection with the convenience store. Darwin and Terri Norem opened Red’s Ranch Wagon cafe in early August 1984.
In late August 1984, the Lamoni National Bank opened a branch office in the former laundromat, thanks to the effort of Bud Tice and others. About the same time, Bill and Andrea Daniels opened Carr Motors in the old Kellerton Oil Company location.
By 1985, the ride was slowing down. Perry”s TV and Appliance seems to have closed in 1985 and in 1986, Francis Virden, a Kellerton barber for more than 50 years, passed away. Keith Adams would open a barber shop in 1993.
In January 1992, it was announced the Grand Valley High School would not offer high school grades for the 1992-93 school year. Kellerton still had Munyon’s Mini-Mart, a cafe, a tavern, and a few other businesses, but the loss of the high school would be painful. The Mini-Mart closed about 2006.
Kellerton does have three churches, which is more than any other town in Ringgold County except Mount Ayr. And that’s what I call a positive note.
BY MIKE AVITT