Ancestors, Legends & Time

Where did all… the taxi companies go?

Jeanne Newby

Do you remember the different bus stops we had in Webb City?

The Greyhound Bus or the Crown Bus could pick you up at 113 West Broadway in 1947. There was a service station at that location. Now it is a parking lot on the northeast corner of the intersection.

Do you remember when that service station was owned by the Oldhams in 1946? Or how about Bill Johnson in 1953. It was Stinson’s Sinclair Service Station in 1962. Not only was the bus station at that location but so was the Western Union Telegraph Co. in 1947. A very popular corner in the “good ole days”!

Sticking with transportation, Webb City used to be home to several taxi cab companies, especially in 1947. In that busy year, we had the Everitt Cab Co., the Thirty-Two Taxi Service and the Webb City Cab Co.

Most of the time, the taxi cab companies did not have a building of their own. They would be located at a restaurant, a pool hall or some business in town.

In 1947, the Webb City Cab Co. (owned by Duane B. Bunch) was located at 10 ½ S. Main Street, which was also the location of Randall’s Cafe. That address is now part of the Minerva Building, but was once the Webb City Bakery 1960 – 1985, owned by Virgil Wright. In 1985, it was purchased by Jeanne and Stan Newby and named Jeanne’s Sweet Shoppe.

Back in 1949, the Webb City Bakery was located at 32 S. Main. There was this big blue neon sign that said Bakery and it moved up and down Main Street as the bakery relocated with new owners. In 1928 the bakery and the sign were located at 8 S. Main (Webb City Sentinel’s former office).

The address of 10 ½ S. Main was originally 10 S. Main and was the B.C. Wranglin Book store from 1904 – 1911. Then the little building to the north was built in 1912, and they had to change the address to 10 ½ as the little cafe became 10 S. Main. 10 ½ Main became the Webb City Book Store, owned and operated by W.A. Corl from 1912 – 1934.

Of course, the Minerva Candy Co. has been at 12 S. Main forever. It was opened as Minerva’s in 1906 by John & Gus Klenkious, and they owned the Minerva until 1921, when Jim Mallos purchased the Minerva and it became the candy landmark of Webb City.

Before the Klenkious Brothers purchased 12 S. Main, it was a one-story building housing the O.C. Zaumseil Jewelry Co. It was only there for two years from 1904 – 1906, when the Klenkious Brothers purchased the building and added the second story for living purposes.

See how easily I get distracted.

Back to the cab companies. In 1947, Everitt Cab Co. was located at 210 N. Main in what was then called the Aylor Building, home of the I.O.O.F. Odd Fellows Hall upstairs and retail businesses downstairs. There was a business named Tarrant Cabinet Co. and Jack’s Radio Service that shared with the Everitt Cab Co. The Everitt Cab Co. had the phone number of 52. It was owned by Ora F. “Pop” Everitt.

In 1960, the Webb City Cab Co. was located at 101 E. Church St., which was on the back side of the Donehoo Building at Main and Church streets (which burned down in Dec. 1982).

The 32 Taxi Service in 1947 was located at 114 E. Daugherty St., home of the George Gordon Restaurant. 32 Taxi Service was also owned by George Gordon. I don’t know for sure, but I think the 32 was the phone number of the taxi business, and Gordon didn’t have to advertise the number since it was the name of the business. Pretty smart thinking!

Back in 1928, Webb City only had one taxicab service and that was the White Line Taxi, located at 1 S. Main, the Middlewest Hotel.

In 1919, the Economy Cab Co. was located out of their home at 606 N. Pennsylvania St. Not much need for a taxicab in those days, as they had the streetcar running constantly all day.

It is fun to take an occasional trip around town in the years gone by. I hope it triggered memories for you.

Jeanne’s new book, “The Zinc City, Webb City, Missouri” is now available at Webb City Chamber Office.

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.