Days Gone By: The shiny and new, the faded and forgotten
From The Examiner during the week of May 10-15, 1971:
• "DRIVE TO ATTRACT INDUSTRY ON” – Teams of businessmen took to the streets today as the Association for Industrial Development (AID) began its drive for funds to promote industry. The goal of the drive is $250,000 to purchase and develop a 40-acre site for an industrial park.
• “WESTERN AUTO'S 500TH STORE HERE” - One of the largest merchandizing organizations based in Kansas City has selected its hometown area as the site of its 500th retail store. Western Auto Supply Co., founded here more than six decades ago, will host a grand opening celebration May 17 for retail store No. 500, located at 3750 S. Noland Road.
George Pepperdine, a Kansas City bookkeeper, started Western Auto in 1909 as a mail-order business from which area motorists could obtain many of the parts and accessories necessary to fully equip their skeleton-like Model T Fords. The first retail store was in the 1400 block of Grand Avenue.
The new Independence store is in an air-conditioned building that features extensive use of glass and fluorescent lighting, and a large part of the retail space will be carpeted.
• “PASSENGER TRAINS PASS TRUMAN'S HOMETOWN BY” (By Sue Gentry) – The deserted Missouri Pacific Railroad station in Independence which figured so prominently in the news when President Harry S Truman's special train arrived and departed from Washington, presents a forlorn spectacle these days.
The old waiting room door is locked, and an announcement posted on it reads: “Notice of Discontinuance of Passenger Service as of May 1, 1971.”
Discontinuance of passenger service leaves Independence without such transportation for the first time since the close of the Civil War. That's when the first train ran over the newly laid track from the east. The last passenger train to stop here, No. 15, pulled out of the depot at 4:45 p.m. Friday, April 30, on the regular run to St. Louis.
The only other passenger train service through the years for Independence, the Gulf, Mobile and Ohio (GM&O), formerly the Chicago & Alton, ran its last passenger service out of Independence April 14, 1960.
From The Independence Examiner during the week of May 9-14, 1921:
• “THE SANTA FE TRAIL” – A delegation of about 30 men and women who live on the Old Santa Fe Trail as it leaves Independence appeared before the county court this morning and asked the court to put the road in condition for the 1 3/4 miles from the limits of Independence to the connection with the Raytown rock road. The court agreed to go out and look over the road tomorrow with the highway engineer.
The Old Santa Fe Trail cuts the south city limits at South McCoy street. From Alton avenue it runs south and west to the Raytown rock road. This stretch of dirt road has been improved from time to time and has several good culverts but at the present time it is in bad shape.
At times the discussion grew warm. The principal appeal of the women was in behalf of the children. The nearest schoolhouse is the Oldham school which is between a half-mile and a mile from all the fourteen homes on the road. The school is across fields in which cattle are kept and it is not safe for the children to cross them.
• “'TED’ SANDS IS NO MORE” – Children of the neighborhood formed a solemn procession Monday afternoon at the home of Mrs. I.H. Sands, 414 North Pleasant street, to render final honors to “Ted,” the little ten-year-old dog of Mrs. Sands. A tiny coffin with six small handles had been prepared and six little folks with bowed heads acted as pallbearers while fifty others looked on, most of them shedding tears and some cried as if their hearts would break.
Ted for several years has been a favorite of the children on North Pleasant street, doing many tricks which pleased them greatly. During the war while Mrs. Sands' three sons were in the service, the little dog was her close friend and companion.
– Compiled by Jeff Fox