We’re continuing our journey down through Crawford County. If you stand on the sidewalk in Seneca, you’re just about in the very center of the County. Our Scheckel farm was a bit less than two miles northwest of Seneca.
When I was a kid in the 1940s and 1950s, two stores serviced the farmers and townspeople in the area; Johnsons and Kane’s IGA store.
Kane’s had dry goods were displayed on open wooden tables with a railing around each table. Shoes, clothing of all types, belts, gifts, knick-knacks, house hold appliances of every description, salt blocks, tools, and feed supplements for livestock.
While Dad filled the order list that Mom had given him, Phillip, Bob, and I wondered around the tables. “Don’t touch stuff” Dad would caution. Of course, we touched stuff, especially the toys.
Dad would buy a candy bar for Mom and often a small sack of candy for us kids. We carried the groceries out to the car. Turn the car around and park on the opposite side of the street, and go into Johnson’s Store.
Bob Johnson, tall affable man, bought a store in 1937, building a feed mill across the street a few years later. Johnson’s catered to farmers and their needs, later opening a grocery, hardware, feed mill, combination and billing it as Johnson’s One Stop Shopping Service. He located it on the Dan Kane farm. The feeling was that “if they don’t have it, you don’t need it”.
Bob Johnson was quite a promoter. He was the Doboy Feed dealer for the Seneca area. Doboy Feeds was headquartered in New Richmond, Wisconsin. Bob was the son of Tommy Johnson that often cut our hair. Bob’s son Jerry took over the store when Bob and his wife retired.
Bob Johnson sponsored a country western band and comedy group to come to the Seneca gym and our whole family attended. Some of the jokes must have been a tad on the risqué side, as my mother commented on the way home that “there was no need for all the dirty talk”. I was about eight years old and I didn’t pick up anything naughty!
Seneca had a memorial to the servicemen that fought in WWII. It was like a white picket fence. If I remember correctly, it was located a tad north of Honzel’s Locker plant. It had white slats with the name painted in black letters. I liked reading the names. It was later lost or torn down.
Dad filled up with gas at either of two filling stations, McCullicks Sinclair in the middle of town. Max McCullick was well liked by teenagers, many hung out there. He had a one-car bay for servicing vehicles. We enjoyed watching cars being raised about 5 feet by a hydraulic lift. The serviceman could change oil and work on tires. Kids could buy soft drinks, candy, and ice cream cones. I always remembered McCullick’s as the starting point for two of my classmates who ended up dead in a car accident ten minutes after departure.
Jule (Jewel) Lamore’s Mobil Station was at the south end of town. Jule was quiet man and had club feet. That is what we called them. Mom said it happens at birth and there is nothing you can do about it. I know we kids stared at his feet and we were told not to, but we did anyway. He had to get special shoes made for his feet.
Picture: My Dad and Mom in 1953 at the wedding of their oldest daughter, Rosemary, my sister, married to Joe Boland on his return from Korea.