Frisco Depot, a remaining fixture of the West End, is at Madison and Daugherty streets.

Ancestors, Legends & Time

West End: A city within a city

Jeanne Newby

Last week we shared the Zinc City that was in the West End, in the 900 block of West Daugherty Street. So I want to head back to the West End of town again this week. The West End was like a little town within a town. 

Many can remember when the area in the middle of the 900 block was Smith’s Ice and Fuel, at 911 W. Daugherty St. In the year 1926, Smith’s Ice and Fuel first came into business. Any type of fuel you heated with could be obtained at Smith’s. Whether it be coal or wood, it could be delivered to your home. Anything else you needed from Smith’s could be delivered as well. Ice was a common item to be delivered. It was delivered to the house and carried into the kitchen and placed in the trusty old wooden ice box that kept your food from spoiling.

Do you remember the cardboard signs that were put in the window to let the ice man know how much ice you may need. Extra ice would have to be ordered for the weekend since there was no delivery on Saturday or Sunday. If homemade ice cream was in the weekend plans, more ice was needed.

With having ice on hand, it seemed only appropriate that you could buy ice cream and ice cold soda pop at Smith’s Ice and Fuel, and don’t forget the ice cold watermelon.

Paul Smith was the owner of Smith’s Ice and Fuel, and he had four sons who assisted him at the store. His sons continued the business after he passed away.

While our memories are visiting the West End, we need to mention The West End Pharmacy, or Burris Pharmacy, according to what era you are visiting. Other popular stores included Etter’s Bakery, Berrian’s Grocery, Stone’s Grocery, Blackie’s Barber Shop, Beakman’s Groceries, Ellis Grocery, McReynold’s Shoe Repair, and the Feed Mill, where you could buy flour sacks to make dresses. 

In the West End was a cigar factory, a brewery, a paint store, Hoerning Hardware and Lumber and lots of little cafes. In later years, there was Matthew Coffee Co., Norris Feed and Foodtown, The West End was also home to Hampsten’s Photography who worked out of his home and took school photos.

The West End had its own fire department , movie house, and plenty of filling stations. K & H BBQ was popular spot. But the busiest place in the West End was the Frisco Depot, with constant train traffic.

Yes, the West End was a bustling town of its own with lots of memories.

Jeanne Newby

A lot of us appreciate the Bradbury Bishop Fountain, but Jeanne actually worked behind the counter making sodas while she was in high school. She knows everything about Webb City and is a member of the Webb City R-7 School Board.

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