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Fairbank Newspaper Articles


Posted By: Jerilyn Johnson (email)
Date: 7/9/2002 at 09:25:28

(Articles taken from "Fairbank Times, July 4, 1976)
Curleys Store and Locker

James and Kitty CURLEY first went into business in 1903 when they purchased a building from a Mr. SIMMS, which had formerly housed a general merchandise store. The bldg is not housing an antique store known as "The Old Store.

Curley's first operated a meat market, but shortly after opening, added groceries. The beef and hogs they sold were butchered at the slaughterhouse, known as the Old 20. The bldg is now vacated but still stands just north of Fairbank across from the Darwin FINK's residence. After nine carcasses were finished why would load them and take them to the grocery store to be cooled and cut up to be sold.

Jim CURLY died in 1935 and Russell CURLEY and Katherine (curley) KEMP took over the grocery store. In 1942 Russell added a locker operation. This was located in the same bldg.

Russel died four years later at the age of 42. His wife, Mary, then took over the business. In 1960 a new store was built on a lot purchased from John and Nell YOUNGMAN. In 1964 Mary died and her son, James bought the grocery store. He did some remodeling adding new shelving, checkout and flooring.

In December 1975, James wife Patricia, opened an antique store calling it The Old Store, in the bldg where it all started way back 1903.

Bentley Chevrolet

Bentley Chevrolet was founded Dec 18, 1926 by Earl BENTLEY and located in the same bldg the fire station now occupies. Mr. Bentley previously attended and graduated from the Sweeny School of Automotive in Kansas and was employed by W.P. RECKEMMER (My gg step grandfather) here in town for about 13 years before opening in own auto dealership.

About 1913, Mr. Bentley acquired a partner, Mr. C.L. Rechkemmer, and this partnership was dissolved in about 1937. The dealership was moved to the west half of the building which now houses Don's Auto Sales. At this time, he employed John OHL as his main mechanic, as Mr. OHL had many years experience with W.P. RECHKEMMER on Ford products and was considered an excellent all-round man.

In 1946, Don STEGGAL and Gordon BENTLY also went to work for the dealership after returning from WWII. About 1948 the present owner, Gordon BENTLEY purchased one half interest in the dealership. This arrangement lasted until 1959 when the Senior BENTLEY retired,

In 1964 Gordon purchased the bldg , the dealership now occupies Don's Auto Sales. Mr. BENTLEY has two sons, which he hopes will also take over the dealership and make it a 3rd generation business.


At one time, many years ago, the building where the Corner Tap is now located was a two story building. The upper story was used as an opera house, and the lower housed the LEHMKUHL Hardware.

Bill RECHKEMMER (my gg step grandpa) bought the building and was in business with the Ford Company using the lower story as a garage and showroom. He also displayed the Jewitt cars.

In 1933 when prohibition ended and serving beer became legal again, Bill changed the building to a beer tavern.

In 1939, Fred KEMP bought the business and property and ran it until his death in 1965. His wife Kathryn, continued the business until July 1, 1974, when it was sold to Bill and Jan KERNS, present Owners. (1975)

Eve' Beauty Shop

Eve's Beauty Shop is located one half block south of Don'a Auto Sales. The shop originally part of the late Fred NEIMAN home, was moved to its present location where the Methodist church had been located until it burned in 1942.

The beauty shop was remodeled by Lawrence STAINBROOK and was ready to open for business in the fall of 1956. The shop is still operating and is owned by Mrs. Lawrence Stainbrook.

The Country Store

The land where the country store is located like all the land in the Original Plat, was obtained from the U.S. Government by Albert CLARKE on Nov. 5, 1852. It was sold to Franklin EVERETT and Clarence BACON on Jan 12, 1854.

Everett and Bacon turned the land over to the public to be platted as a town on May 12, 1855.

The lot where the Country Store now is was bought by Milton HARRINGTON on June 6, 1855. He sold it to Sarah McCUNNIFF on March 14, 1856. The property changed hands several times in the next several years, John and Sarah MCCUNNIFF to F. C. PATTERSON on Jan 21, 1858; F.C. PATTERSON to Jane KILGORE on Feb 1, 1858; Jane to John RECHKEMMER on Oct 28, 1863; John to E. F. KURT on May 27, 1882; Kurt to Martin LONG on Jan 10, 1885.

Apparently Kurt again acquired the property as he sold it John H. KURT on Dec 28, 1888. John Kurt sold it to James MURPHY on March 10, 1890. James died on June 25, 1890 and his wife Ellen, sold the property to P.F. DAMGE on March 13, 1891.

P.F. DAMGE sold the store to John O'CONNOR in 1919. Clara FENNE bought the store from John on Oct 7, 1930. She was a pharmacist and the business was known as Fairbank Pharmacy.

On Sept 17, 1946, Clara retired and rented the building to John MCKEE who continued to run it as a drug and sundry store. Mrs. FENNE died on Dec 13, 1952 and Mr. MCKEE bought the store from her heirs on Oct 11, 1956. Maurice WELSH bought it from John in 1968.

Durham Implement

Frank DURHAM bought the business from Ralph EMERSON in 1935. Mr. Durham had worked for Chris EMERSON and Ralph before buying the business.

Some of the people who worked for Mr. Durham at various times were: Harold GREYBILL (hauled coal), Ed JOLLEY, Jimmy LAMB, Ed OLENDORF, Cliff BRANT, Beahner FINCH and Leo STREMPKE.

corn and soybeans were bought. The corn was sold to Piper Grain and Milling Co. in Cedar Rapids. Mr. Durham also sold coal, as well as John Deere implements and parts. the business closed in 1957.

Charlie's Texaco

The first known business on the land where the Texaco now stands was Park Gas in the late 1920's and early 30's. It was owned by Phil RIGGS. At that time the gas pumps were the type you pumped by hand.

Since 1933 the station has been owned by the Shirk Oil Company. One of the first operators was Leo PETERS.

In 1946 Louie PETERS went in the business with Leo. They sold to Barney OHLS in 1947. The bldg was completely rebuilt in 1957 and operated by Don OHL and bob HEILMANN. After this there was a succession of operators until 1966 when Charlie JOERGER took over.


Buchanan Documents maintained by Cindy Marshall.
WebBBS 4.33 Genealogy Modification Package by WebJourneymen

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