A TRIP THROUGH HISTORY
NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES"
A Rare Form of 1920's Architecture"
"The interior of the store has changed little since 1925"
"A must see stop for Route 66 travelers"
The interior has changed little since 1925. It is divided into two primary spaces, the east section which was, and is, used as the commercial area and the west section consisting of three rooms in a linear arrangement with a small bath, (added later) which was the residence of Leo and Lora Williams and their daughter, Jane Marie. The kitchen was in the commercial part just west of the meat lockers. A pressed metal ceiling is used throughout the building.
Exploring The Beginnings
In the 1940's the Williams family moved their residence to the house next door to the store. Today the front part which was originally the living room, houses Route 66 merchandise and souvenirs.
There were gasoline pumps in front of the store for many years, leased first to Texaco and later to Standard Oil. The store itself carried everything from groceries to general merchandise-shoes, clothes, milk, fresh meat, a wide variety of goods. Leo also barbecued beef and venison in a pit behind the store and served sandwiches to customers. Lora served her speical recipe of chili.
Serving the Local Community
Customers were mostly local people, but the store also played an important role on Route 66 as the traffic increased through the late 20's, 30's, 40's and 50's.
There were originally two outhouses back of the store. One now remains, painted white and a thin moon silhouette cut into the door. The papers concerning the property say, “..this resource is contributing to the nomination.”
Leo and Lora Williams ran the store until 1945 when they leased the grocery to Lloyd Paxson. Leo died in 1948, so when the Paxson lease expired, Lora returned to the store and operated it until about 1970.
New Owners and Future Plans
Joe and Isabell Eisler of Allen, Texas, purchased the business in 1973. It has continued to operate as a grocery and deli, just as it had, with very little changes in it's decor. The store was managed for the Eisler's by their nephew, Scott Nelson. Scott purchased the store March 31, 2011 from the estate of the Eisler's. Scott is the President of the Route 66 Association of Kansas.