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Fire Destroys Meat Market and Barber Shop

Posted Thursday, November 15, 2012, at 9:18 AM


Clay County Independent

Editor, Ben Daulton

November 18, 1927


Fire which originated in the Thompson building on Front Street near the railway station, about two-thirty o'clock Thursday morning, destroyed the interior of the building together with the furnishings of the Lone Star Barber Shop and the merchandise and fixtures of the City Meat Market.

The blaze started about two-thirty and had gained considerable headway before the fire department arrived on the scene.

Very little was saved from the building. The Lone Star Barber Shop was destroyed and was a total loss to R. H. Benson who carried no insurance.

The City Meat Market was the property of "Shorty" Walker. This property, we understand, was insured. Mr. Walker, we understand, had a trade under way to sell the property, and would have closed the trade in a day or two.

We did not learn whether or not Mrs. Thompson carried insurance on the building.

Your writer believes that the Thompson building on Front Street was owned by Wilburn and Lee Ottie Walker Thompson, who also ran Thompson Variety Store, in downtown Rector, from about 1925 into the early 1940's. I'm guessing when I state that the "City Meat Market" and the "Lone Star Barber Shop"., were located 3 or 4 store fronts east of the "alley" on Front Street, almost down to the old hotel.

The barber, Richard H. Benson, was born in the Boydsville area about 1881, and he married Miss Lucy Price in 1905, when he was 25 and she was 22. Richard and Lucy were parents of a daughter, Imogene Benson.

Mr. Cole "Shorty" Walker was a young man when he came to Rector from Indiana in the early 1920's. After this fire in 1927, Mr. Walker operated a hamburger stand down near French's Filling Station on the highway. Sometime in 1928, "Shorty" Walker became ill and died in October, at the young age of 33. He is buried in Woodland Heights Cemetery.

Thanks to Larry Malin, who recently shared some old family pictures with your writer, the Library now has an old photo taken out front of the "City Meat Market" and the "Lone Star Barber Shop". The year is unknown, as are the men and boys pictured, but I'm guessing that the date is in the 1920's. Larry thinks that someone in the photo is a relative.

Any further information regarding this column, would be appreciated.

b.j.mck@sbcglobal.net 636-256-3934 1015 Anna Meadows, Manchester, Mo. 63021

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