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Most people remember this building as either Main Motor Co., Western Auto, or Farm & Home.
This week we’ll look at several short-lived businesses that also called this building home and there were many.
The building was constructed in 1946 for Gail Dalton and Wilbur Lynch as D & L Motor Co. at 116 N. Taylor Street in Mount Ayr. Weldon Main took over the business in 1950. Main lasted until August 1966.
In the summer of 1967 Rocky Motor Co. opened here with Jim “Peb” Stone and Earl Roudybush as owners and Glenn Pottorff and Sam Davis as employees.
Lannie Hall seems to have briefly had a welding shop in the rear of the building. Rocky’s was a used car dealership and repair garage.
In November 1967, Earl and his twin brother Dr. Burl Roudybush purchased some equipment and set up shop in the wood-frame building to the east of Rocky’s.
Jim Stone’s grandfather, Ralph H. Stone erected that building in 1908 as a marble works and monument business. The Roudybush twins’ new business was called Osborn Mat & Supply Company.
John Osborn, of Muscatine, where Dr. Roudybush had his practice, managed the business that produced rubber mats made from tire casings. Beginning in January 1968, the mats were sold at Rocky Motor Co.
Both businesses ceased operation in 1968.
1969 must have been the year Jim Stone put a slot car track in the building. I found nothing in the Record-News newspaper about this venture, but I have talked to several participants in this activity. The players had to supply their own car and Mr. Stone charged by the minute or hour. Everyone I talked to said this track was very popular and yet, didn’t last long.
The next business was Johnnie’s Railroad Salvage, although I never learned Johnnie’s last name. I’m sure some of my readers will tell me after this article comes out.
Johnnie’s opened in January 1970 and sold canned food, boxed cereal, and “other miscellaneous items.”
There wasn’t much in the newspaper about this business until August of 1970. A man named Charles Sheppard was offering his services as a sign painter and printer at Johnnie’s Railroad Salvage, and William Jensen, of Leon, opened an office for the Mount Ayr Cab Company here.
By October Mr. Jensen announced in the paper that if business didn’t pick up, he would pull out. I never heard from him again. Johnnie’s seems to have closed that fall.
Gerald and Brenda Babcock opened the Western Auto Store here in October 1972. Earl Roudybush is listed as the building’s previous owner. The Babcocks enlarged the building in 1979. Farm & Home opened here in 1986.