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TINGLEY GAS STATION

In and around the year 1924, Ellsworth Morrison "Doc" BRECKENRIDGE (1883-1959) purchased a vacant lot on Tingley's Main Street from John FRAZER. He constructed a stucco and tile gas station on the lot and named the business "Breckenridge Oil Station.

The business changed hands several times during the next decade, first to Carl V. BALL (1893-1952) in 1936 (for $300), then to Bob HOGUE (1889-1960), and finally to Frank RICHARDS in 1940.

Frank had started up a tank wagon service in 1935, obtaining petroleum at Blockton off of Chicago Great Western Railroad's tank cars. While Frank ran the tank wagon business, his father Eldon L. RICHARDS (1884-1957) ran the gas station. Sometime during the 1940's, a bulk tank was placed east of the gas station.

Dean and Lawrence JOHNSON (1917-1968) bought the gas station and bulk plant in 1951 and re-named the business JOHNSON Bros. Oil Company. Dean drove the tank wagon to Diagonal daily to purchase petroleum products from Grover WRIGHT. An addition to the building was constructed in 1952, providing a bay with a hoist and addition space for the storage of tires and batteries. With the addition of another underground tank, the business had an 8,000 gallon fuel capacity.

Dean JOHNSON left the business in 1952, serving his country during the Korean War. His father William "Billy" JOHNSON (1892-1961) stepped in to fill Dean's place.

After Lawrence JOHNSON's death in 1968, Jim ENGLAND, a former employee, managed the business while Dean continued to run the tank wagon.

After Dean's death in 1968, Jim ENGLAND and Bob, Dean's son, ran the business for two years. Jim bought the station in 1986, from Cleone JOHNSON HOSFIELD, Dean's widow. The business was then called England Service Station.

Jim ENGLAND passed away in 1996 and Jerry "Buck" KNIGHT purchased the station.

The Tingley Gas Station is the last of the old-fashioned gas stations left in Ringgold County.

SOURCES:
Mount Ayr Record-News, Mount Ayr, Ringgold County, Iowa. October 20, 2005.

AVITT, Mike. Pages and Pictures from the Past . . . Ringgold County, Iowa: 1885-2005 p. 51. Paragon Publications, Inc. Mount Ayr, Iowa. 2009.

WPA Graves Survey

Compilation by Sharon R. Becker, June of 2009


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