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Columbia Tire & Recap marks 50th anniversary

Believed to be oldest privately owned business in Adair County "in same building, under same ownership, under same name." With one photo. To see complete story with photo, click on headline
(Dan C. Waggener died Friday, February 1, 2013. See obituary: Dan Waggener, Adair Co., KY (1935-2013)

By Ed Waggener

Dan and Peggy Waggener marked 50 years as owners of Columbia Tire & Recap, 410 Campbellsville Street, in Columbia, Kentucky today, Friday, November 28, 2008..

Mr. Waggener says that, as far as he can tell, it's a record. Columbia Tire & Recap is the oldest private business, under the same ownership, in same location, in Adair County.

Thanksgiving fell on November 27, in 1958, which means that the 50th anniversary, on November 28, 2008, falls on the same day of the month as it did one half-century ago.

Started business with late James Reece

That Friday they sold their first tire. His partner back then was James Reece. Mr. Reece sold his interest in 1975.

The building was constructed sometime around World War II, by Mr. Bybee. Dan Waggener says he can remember coming down on Sundays to the croquet yard which was on the corner of Fairground Street and Campbellsville Street and the building was there then, but he's not sure exactly what year the building was constructed.

He and James Reece bought the building from the Mr. Bybee, who had once run a store there. Bybee was a pioneer Columbia radio man, a founder of Columbia's WAIN.

Others who had business in the tire store building were the late Coy Downey, who operated a Wishy-Washy Laundromat there.J.D. Harper, of Circle R Restaurant fame, owned a grocery store in the building prior to operating an IGA grocery in the building now occupied by Curry Floor Covering and, later, a Triange and IGA store on the Well Walk off the Square where Best Buys Clothes and More is located today.

Retreading business now confined to truck tires

For many years, recapping passenger tires was a big part of Columbia Tire and Recapping. business. Today, the business sells new tires for passenger tires, but continues to retread and sell truck tires.

"When radial tires became popular," Dan Waggener says, "that was pretty much the end of the passenger tire retreading business. Recapping radial passenger cars just didn't work well." But with truck tires, it wasn't a problem, he said, and Columbia Tire and Recapping still does that."

The company has always had a big farm and truck business. Their trucks make farm calls to fix tractor tires, and they regularly go to the Louie B. Nunn Parkway to help truckers with tire problems."

Dan Waggener's father, the late E.C. Waggener, operated a service station at the foot of Town and Jamestown Hills in Columbia, as well as a Standard Oil Distributorship in Russell Springs. Dan's grandfather, T.E. "Tom" Waggener, ran a general store on Columbia and was a Standard Oil Distributor.

The younger Dan Waggener worked for a time at Columbia Tire & Recap, before he and his father bought Columbia Candy Company from Dagwood Gore. They operated the business for one year as partners before the younger Dan bought his father's part.

With grandsons in business, family has five generations in retail

Today, with two of Dan and Peggy's grandsons, Eric Melton and Brian Fletcher, active in Columbia Tire & Recap, there have been five generations in the family which have been in almost continuous retail business in Adair County.

The younger Dan Waggener is married to the former Cindy Pyles. They have two children, Will and Michael.Dan and Peggy Waggener's daughter Ann, presently Adair County Judge Executive, is married to former Adair County Sheriff Gary Melton; she is the mother of Eric Melton and and Brian Fletcher, both in the tire business, and Adair County High School senior Katie Melton.In addition to the grandchildren, Dan and Peggy Waggener have five great grandchildren.

What's in the future for Columbia Tire & Recap? "I hope it stays in the family," Dan Waggener says. "I hope it stays in business for a long, long time to come."

This story was posted on 2008-11-28 15:54:25
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Columbia Tire & Recap marks 50th year

2008-11-28 - Campbellsville ST, Columbia, KY - Photo by Ed Waggener.
DAN and PEGGY WAGGENER marked 50 years in business at Columbia Tire & Recap at410 Campbellsville ST, Columbia, KY, today, Friday, November 28, 2008. The business was started on the Friday after Thanksgiving in 1958. It's a record, Mr. Waggener believes. "To my knowledge," he said, "we're the oldest privately owned business under the sameownership, at the same location, in Adair County."

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