Memories of Linton’s Local Businesses

Memories of Linton’s Local Businesses in the 1930’s excerpted from RENNIS WOLFE’S Collections

Coca Cola was distributed by the HARTING Brothers Bottling Company, aided by CRUM’S Wholesale Grocery and the FUSCO Commission Company. WINTERS’ Dairy maintained their own herd and delivered their products door to door and to the grocery stores. They sold out to JOHNSON Milk Company but retained REX WINTERS as manager. T. E. HARRIS owned the New Union Lumber Company and the local ice plant which delivered door to door. Residents displayed their “ice card” in the front window so that the delivery man would know by the color how much to bring to the house. The TERHUNE family operated farms, feed stores and an elevator mill for storing grain. The mill burned in the fall of 1930.

PAUL THOMPSON owned a 6000 acre farm, now commonly known as Goose Pond. It had sold for 11 cents an acres and became the state’s largest cattle ranch. Mr. Thompson grazed 3000 head of Western cattle there. He got his start by contracting with the Champagne Velvet Brewery to obtain brewery slop to fatten undernourished cattle which had been transported from the Western Plains. Later he built a feeding barn that was three quarters of a mile long as a feed trough and fed grain to the cattle after he converted the farm to a grain operation.

It was estimated that Linton had over 100 bootleggers during those times and was somewhat overlooked for many reasons. The out-of-town business helped to keep the town alive. Dr. E. V. BULL was the mayor, as well as the owner of the Willis Overland car dealership. It was observed that the local bootlegger drove cars sold by that agency or else their bootleg business was of short duration. The mayor and the justice of the peace would conduct what some considered a kangaroo court to mete out sentences of “minor offenses”.

J. W. WOLFORD owned a general merchandise store with both grocery and hardware departments. In 1935 the G. C. Murphy Company paid $100,000 to lease and then own the Wolford property. Other outstanding businesses located downtown were AX, FRY, POE, and JOHNSON who maintained their own slaughtering facilities. (At this juncture, RENNIS WOLFE recalls that JOE TURNER started the Linton Daily Citizen.)