Historic Building Demolished in Rector
As a crew of workers from Steve Champ Farms cleared away debris and brought down the remainder of the former home of Weaver's Transmission at 701 S. Main Street in Rector last week, many passersby found their eyes fixed upon the tattered building, coming down a piece at a time. The site was damaged heavily in a Feb. 22 fire, and was later condemned as a safety hazard, eliminating the prospect of reconstructing the building.
"It's kind of sad to see it come down," said Richard Petty, who in addition to being among the quick-acting volunteers who arrived to help during the fire also worked for Champ's crew in the removal of the old structure. "This old building's been here for a lot of years."
The building, originally owned by the Crockett family, was one of the last buildings built by Bert Sigsby, a leading Rector businessman and volunteer. The building was first built to house a Ford tractor dealership.
"It was probably the last building built by Bert Sigsby," Sherland Hamilton, a nephew to the Crocketts who took over much of the family's holdings, said. "We believe it was built around 1950 or 1951, somewhere in there."
The Crocketts operated the tractor dealership for several years before the business and the building was sold to the Floyd family, who continued to operate the Ford tractor dealership for several more years.
"They had it for many years before they got out of the business," Hamilton said.
In 1975, Hamilton and the Crocketts opened an Ace Hardware store in the building. The store also included a Radio Shack and carried tractor parts for area farmers.
"We had it for 10 years, then we sold it out in 1985," Hamilton said.
The building stayed in use, becoming an office for the Synergy Gas Company shortly thereafter. In 2006, MFA Oil Company acquired Synergy Gas. MFA's use of the site was limited, with the company selling the building to Buz and Barbara Weaver in 2007. Weaver's Transmission had operated at the site since then, successfully moving to Rector from Kennett, where it had been in operation for over 16 years at the time.
In the aftermath of the fire, the owners of Weaver's Transmission have stated current plans are for a new shop to be erected at the site.