HISTORY & MEMORIES OF PAST YEARS OF BROUGHTON
By: Lena Shroyer
Our earliest stores were owned by Sam Allen, Anderson Porter and Tomzen Gholson. Their old homes are still standing. Israel Mercer built the first hotel, east of the R.R. track and run by him and his wife Elizabeth. A good many years after they sold it Neal Barker and wife Allie also ran it. After that it was rented out to people who had to rent. Later, Jim Hardesty and wife Viola ran one in their home, which now belongs to Sherman Hughes.
Emma Perkins owned a Milliner shop located between her home and hotel. Jane Gholson made hair switches in her home by Perkins, owned on north east corner, for the ladies who didn't have enough hair for the latest hair do. Another milliner shop was located in North west corner on lot just across from where Dutch and Carl Serles lived and was run by Ida and Ferrie Barker.
A store between Hotel and First State Bank was where Jacob Barker sold men's clothing on south side of Bank. John Oeth ran a store.
Hardin Porter owned the big red barn across the rail road track and bought cattle and hogs. The stock yard was close by on the west side. They were loaded and shipped by freight then. George Cook was his helper, across street where the Elevator now stands.
Dan Reeves build a flour mill and his brother Bill and Frank helped him. You could buy flour, meal, shelled corn, bran and shorts. A pond was dug close by the mill south and east which was called "The Mill Pond".
A short distance east, a store was built by Allen Barker and the upstairs was where the "Modern Woodman" held their Lodge meeting. Roe Barker and son Ed ran a grocery store there for a number of years. Then Otto Brown, then John Carlyle, then Herman Griswold who bought the barn by the R.R. track north across the street. After that Jr. Griswold ran the store. Arthur and Vera Coontz bought the store building and run it till they bought the block building on highway across from the Broughton A.G. Service, owned by Donald Cotter. Later the old store was torn down. Between this store building Dr. E. E. Osborn's office was located and Post Office by it east.
The first Depot stood south a short distance. The new depot was built north side across street which still stands. Frank McNaib was agent, after the new depot was built. Charley Draper bought it and moved it east across track between south of Dr. Osborn's offfice and post office and run a shoe and harness repair shop.
Pete Apple built a livery stable farther on east side of street and run it for a number of years. It burned down and another one was built in same location. Roy Taylor run it for a number of years.
Pete Edwards owned the first drug store and kept toys for the youngsters located across street, east of post office, near the post office which now stands. Joe Porter had a resturant close by it, another building close by, I think a hardware and where you could buy dishes and tableware, crocks and so forth, sorry I can't think who owned it, but I think the Porter resturant caught fire and burned all the buildings to the ground.
Charley Allen build a large brick store north of the street, where you could buy dry goods, groceries, hardware, clothing and furniture. On the west end of building the Farmers Bank was located. One night 2 fellows tried to rob it, "Hez Porter" was Marshal, he was across the street and took a shot at them with his rifle, went throught the glass and grazed one on the leg. They left in a hurry and got away, but later it was found out who they were.
Hamilton and Gaines built a brick building where you could get groceries, furniture and mens clothing. Each store had a delivery hack. Les Edwards was the driver. Hamilton and Gaines bought rabbits as well in winter months. They had them dressed and packed in barrels. Lee Gregg was the poultry and rabbit dresser and they were shipped by freight to St. Louis.
Dick Johnson bought cream in back of a store which stood in a corner running east, west, north and southwest of where Arthur and Grace Irvin's home is. In the front of the store facing west, Tom Pierce run a grocery store. On the north end of the Lyric Theatre was run by Fred Wilson and Ed Gholson. After the building was empty for some time the Masons bought it and made their hall.
The Odd Fellows and Masons both met in the upstairs of the First State bank.
Arthur Dawes was manager of the First State Bank and John Irvin the manager of the Farmers Bank.
Minnie Johnson and son Harley and wife, put in a eating place where the theater was, and one night it caught fire and burned down. The Masons lost every thing they had, without any insurance because it had run out.
Speaking of the first mill, we had another mill located on the lot Arlie Barker now owns. Farmers could take their corn and get fresh meal, also cracked corn. Owned by Dave Essary, his home was close by on south side.
We had 2 dressmakers, Drusilla Summers, whose home was located same place. The Ira Oeth home was and Lou Barker whose home is where Albert and Vina Mathis now owns.
We had 2 carpet makers, Eliza Hart, whose home west of the alley across from Inman Hargrove or the Lenard house, Martha Summers whose home was on Walpole road and north a piece from town.
Wesley Richardson whose home was on what was called "Richardson Hill". His old house is the only one standing, where Kenneth Greer lives. His last home is standing across last of rail road and by the highway. He was carpenter by trade, and when slack times would come, he wove baskets with splits and bottomed chairs.
Nan Linden was a photographer and made pictures. Anyone wanting their pictures made, went to her home, which belongs to Clarence and Tammy Blair now.
We also had another Doctor, Inman Hall. His office was east side of Hamilton Store.
Tile Factory built by Hardin Porter and Arthur Dawes in 1914, which employed several men. A large pond was dug nearby, which Donald Cotter now owns. The pond which was known as the tile factory pond. A lot of swimming and fishing took place there.
In the vacancy caused by the burn out of the previous building, Fred Wilson and Dr. Hall had a large building built, 3 business places were located in it. On the east end Med Carlyle had a drug store, also you get cold drinks and ice cream. In center of building a Barber shop always filled with barbers to numberous to mention. On the other side of it a grocery store. Ed and Hallie Barker used it a number of years, then Isaac and Eva VanTrease a number of years. The last to use it was Dale Rhine. It caught fire and burned to the ground.
We had a good Band we could be proud of. In our first band, Ed Barker is the only one living, and our last band Tom Richardson, Arlie Cook and Audra Hardesty are the only ones living.
We always had plenty of Black Smiths too numberous to mention.
Lyman and Laura Greer run a grocery store, and numerous other things you could buy, in the building our post office in now located.
We had a tennis court north side of Bank Building, for the youngsters to play, also a croquet yard between Ovah Jones and the railroad tracks.
Our Churches were always filled on Sundays. No taverns were allowed.
We had a good thriving town until the Highway went through, known as the "Hard Road", and so many people having to leave for work.
I failed to mention earlier the railroad furnished a lot of work, and the houses they built for employees, who had to rent which was built across highway and railroad track east and south and across from our School building.
(contributed by Bonnie Phillips)