SJ News Online - St. John, KS
  • Remembering Macksville

  • I am old enough to remember Saturday nights in Macksville when both sides of Main Street would be full of cars and pickups.

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  • I am old enough to remember Saturday nights in Macksville when both sides of Main Street would be full of cars and pickups.......with the families shopping in the many stores........and perhaps waiting for the square dance to begin in the old Elmore Chevrolet garage building.
    In the 1950's it seemed Macksville had at least most of the businesses that form a successful rural farming community. Our little town was an economic self-sustaining life force!
    We had a movie theatre, two drug stores with ice cream soda fountains, two barber shops, two banks, three filling stations, three cafes, two grocery stores, one dry goods store, one jewelry store, a shoe shop, a candy and sweet shop (which for some of us, became an almost daily after school stop), several insurance agencies, one or two implement dealers, a hardware store, a new and used car dealership, a tire shop, two lumber yards, two grain elevators, a hotel, one produce and ice house, a train depot (where trains stopped for passengers and freight....some steam powered.....magical in both sight and sound), an aerial spraying operation, two dry cleaning shops, several beauty shops, a pool hall, one beer joint, the home of the Wegele Scooter Mower, several welding and repair shops, a cattle hauling trucking operation, a heating and plumbing shop, several free lance carpenters, electricians, dry wall, roofing, and painting crews, and one local newspaper (who doesn't remember Anna Kephart, with her dog, delivering the Hutchinson News), several churches of various faiths, a dentist, and at times a medical doctor who made house calls..............and an undertaker who not only sold stoves, refrigerators, washing machines............ but also caskets!
    We also had a water fountain at one of the corners on Main Street near Common's Drug Store.......used by almost everyone who came to town! That cold water tasted wonderful after riding your bicycle on hot summer days! It was a pretty good life, and we got a fine education in this small town in central Kansas.
    Everything was not ideal, and surely we grew up with some issues, some more personal than others.......but in total, the Macksville schools prepared all of us for whatever came next. For some of us that became college, or a trade school, or working on the farm, or eventually going into business for ourselves. For some it became getting married and raising our own family and yes.......for some raising their families in Macksville.....and the life cycle began anew.
    Page 2 of 2 - The photos portray some of the "good life" which surrounded our education in Macksville. See how many of your fellow classmates you can recognize playing on the playground equipment at the old grade school. Hope you have enjoyed this brief remembrance of our town and some of it's people which we all knew while going to grade and high school.
    Hope to see all of you from the Class of 1962 as well as our special invited guests from the classes of 1960, 61, 63, and 1964 at the May 26th MHS Alumni Banquet.
    Larry Fenwick can be reached by email at txldf@msn.com
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