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Early Columbia - Back when we were boys - II - Greensburg ST

Second installment (of 5-6 or more) looks back at Columbia of over a half Century ago. In this one, Ralph Waggener starts at Dr. M.C. Loy's Clinic and goes to the old Adair County High School, and the City Dump. There are memories of Vernon Yarberry's station, Columbia Fire Station, Columbia Motors, Sally Ray Troutman's Cream Station, Stotts-Phelps (before Mr. Louis McQueary and Richard Phelps owned the business), Durham Wholesale Co., Mason Judd's Block Plant, the old Adair County High School, and the City Dump, and much more.
Next earlier: Ralph Waggener and Delmar Lee Jessie, Jr. : Back when we were boys - Early Columbia, back when we were boys. Part I. Posted July 20, 2014.

By Ralph Waggener, with help from Delmar Lee Jessie and many others

Going out Greensburg Street from the Square, Dr. M.C. Loy built his new two story office on the corner of Monroe Street, today occupied by a parking lot owned by the Columbia Baptist Church.


Next on Greensburg Street was - and still is at this writing - the Columbia Baptist Church. A large three story building was added to the back side and there was a large building fund to raise the money. Ed "Rock Quarry Ed" Williams (to distinguish him, at the time, from Ed "Buzz" Williams of KY Auto fame) made a large donation to finish the financing.

And then Charlie Garnett built a building in the corner of his big yard. I think it was used by Antle's Bottled Gas (Dan Antle's father ran it).

Charlie Garnett was the Health Office inspector. He was also the person who painted most of the town's signs that were used in Columbia at this time. Sometime later it was also the home of Barger Insurance before they moved to the Square. (And of Durham & Durham after the hotel fire destroyed their office down the street - that was in the 1970s)

On the other side of the Greensburg Street, there was a small - very small gas station which was run early on by Vernon Yarberry on the corner just behind the Miller Hotel on Greensburg Street.

The Columbia Fire Station was in a residential garage size building setting in the corner of the old Adair County Jail yard. It housed the American LaFrance fire truck. There was one other, much smaller fire truck too, but I think it was parked outside.

The next building was Columbia Motors, or Wethington Chevrolet owned by Charles Wethington; it was two stories with the basement on the ground floor on the back side; later it was a feed store run by Arnold Coomer.

The small gas station later was a Cream Station run by Sally Ray Troutman. Much later Stott's & Phelps Funeral Home incorporated the Wethington building into their own. Later on Stott's & Phelps Funeral Home was and still is a grand structure, even being one of the oldest buildings in town.

The late Dallas Stotts usually wore a white seersucker suite and a white hat (I think) and was considered one of the most colorful people in Columbia. He owned one of the first Renault Dauphine cars ever in Columbia.

His partner Allen Phelps came from a business and professional family that included brothers Dr. Penny Phelps and one of Columbia's best business men of all times, Thomas Preston (T.P.) "Cotton" Phelps who ran the Chevrolet garage, was President of Bank of Columbia and was a partner in the Dr Pepper plant here, and many more enterprises. Their father Claude Phelps was a longtime businessman here.

Durham Wholesale House was owned by the Durham family and was run by Charlie Hood. The business had sales representatives and delivery men James Hood, Bradford Thompson, and others I can't remember, who traveled Adair and many counties in Kentucky and even into Tennessee. For many general stores, Durham Wholesale was their main supplier.

Later, Bobby W. Loy and his father Holland Loy bought the business and ran it for years until Danny Waggener, bought it and consolidated it with Columbia Candy Company, moving Columbia Candy Company from Adams Alley to Reed Street. Over the hill was Overstreet & Rice a Pontiac car dealer and farm implement dealer. They had International Harvester Trucks, and IH Farmall Tractors, as well. I do remember they sold Hotpoint window air conditioners early on for air conditioning. The owners where Robert Rice and Willie Overstreet.

On out Greensburg Street was Mason Judd's Cement Block Plant.

Mason was a man of many talents. When it came to machinery he was always building something new or adding another product to building his plant.

On another note, when I carried the Courier Journal early in the morning I could smell the wonderful aroma of Mrs. Judd's coffee pot because she usually had her kitchen window up. This would make me so hungry ever morning; somehow, the smell of brewing coffee reminded me of the best country ham any of us ever ate; fried by the best cook any of us ever knew, my Mom, Audrey Chelf Waggener.

The Judds lived in the first red brick house, at the time, on the right after rounding the corner at the top of the hill.

The new Adair County High School was built and consolidated all the high school students in Adair Co. into one school in 1953 - from Columbia High School, Knifley High School, and Breeding High. At the time, it was the only school on the campus. There was still Columbia Graded Center, and elementary schools at Sparksville, Knifley, Shepherd, and Cane Valley - maybe others as well. The old ACHS building is now Adair County Middle School.

The only other sort of a business on out the road was the old Columbia City Dump and it was always fun to take things there as a young boy. Could always find great treasures there (not really). And see the world's biggest rats, a favorite target of many sportsmen of the day.

Next: Early Columbia - Back when we were boys - III - Going out Burkesville Street from the Square


This story was posted on 2014-08-04 04:28:55
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