Snapshot of History
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BY MIKE AVITT
There were way more occupants of this building than I thought. I probably won’t get them all in today.
The building was constructed at 1004 W. South Street in Mount Ayr in 1947. Ames Cross had previously had his auto and gas business in a wood-frame building nearby. I don’t know what happened to that station, but the one we see this week is still standing.
In 1957, Ames Cross put an ad in the newspaper saying he had leased his station to Warin Oil Co. and John Ruckman would be in charge. Mr. Cross stated he would continue in his Willys and International Truck sales; his new building was under construction. Cross ended up at 604 W. South St. but my info says Dean Simpson was there in 1958 and Harvey Brothers leased it in 1959 (as an overflow car lot). So I have more work to do.
John Warin bought the property at 1004 W. South St. in 1960 keeping John Ruckman as manager. Ruckman was replaced in 1961 with Max Buck. Warin Oil Co. bought Rogers Oil in 1963 and Buck went to that location. In January 1964, Albert Roach and Lyle Swank, Jr. took over the former Cross filling station. The name was Junior & Al’s Service.
Wilbur Wagenecht was the next occupant in September 1964. Beginning in May 1965, Jim and Bob Haley operated a Skelly Station here. The next occupant was the Kiddy Karousel Co. with Harvey Neiman as the only employee in November 1966. Apparently, the product was a small children’s ride powered by a low-horse-power electric motor. November 1968 is the last time I see Kiddy Karousel mentioned.
Jim Haver opened Haver’s Skylark Service here in August 1969. March 30-31, 1973 was the Grand Opening of Joe’s (Pulliam) APCO, successor to Jim Haver. I see a reference to Bill’s APCO on August 5, 1976. I didn’t get Bill’s last name.
Gilbert “Gib” Rule took over the APCO Station in September 1977. One year later, Ames Cross came back to the building he erected in 1947. Ames and his wife Elberta operated the station and auto parts store until 1983. Interestingly, John Warin still owned the property after all these years.
In August 1984, Gregg Roberts opened Roberts Auto Body complete with self-serve gasoline. Roberts moved west and Gerald Cannon, along with his son Gregg, opened West Side Wine & Spirits at 1004 W. South St. in early September 1990. This business sold liquor and sporting goods. By 1997 the building housed Midwest Fur operated by Bruce Hutton.
Later, Taylor Tire was located here and after that, Stewart Tire. Today, Gregg Cannon is back at his old stand with his business, Cannon Sales & Service. He services and sells riding lawn mowers and other small engine vehicles.
I have so many notes I may have missed a few, but that’s a list I’ve been working on for 20 years. Do you remember these businesses?