Augusta, Kansas Part 3: State Street 600 Block East Side

We’ve walked down the west side of the 600 block, and I have nearly strained my brain. I’m looking back 70 or 75 years, and some things are getting a little fuzzy. I remember faces pretty well, but not first names. I may be missing some of the stores, too.

Let’s cross the street, go back to the stoplight at 7th Street, and proceed south again.

On the southeast corner of 7th and State is McDuffee’s Service Station. They had gas pumps, a couple of boys for car repair, and served as the bus station. The main bus line was Continental Trailways. The place was always busy with Mr. McDuffee always doing something, and Mrs. McDuffee running the desk inside. They always had a couple of employees, too. In the back of the building, there was an overhead garage door which, when opened, revealed a steep ramp down to a paved basement. If my pals and I happened to come by when the door was open, we would ride our bikes down the ramp. I’m telling you that was a real thrill because that ramp was steep. I only used the place as a bus depot once. In March of 1957, I enlisted in the Navy and went to the Great Lakes Naval Training Center, outside of Chicago, for boot camp. After completing boot camp in June, I came home for a 30 day leave. I took a train from Chicago to Wichita. There weren’t any timely connections to Augusta, so I grabbed my sea bag and hiked a block to the bus despot and caught a bus for Augusta. When we arrived home, McDuffee’s was a sight for sore eyes.

Heading south, my memory is a little fuzzy about the next building. I seem to recollect that when the Scholfield-Hurst Motor Company first opened up, they used this building until their new facility at 6th and Walnut was ready. Later, Bud Miller and his son, Franklin, moved Miller Auto Parts from east 7th to here.

Next, we see the Frisco railroad tracks again. Then, the Frisco Depot. Then, again, we see the siding tracks.

Next is the outdoor portion of a lumber yard, and then the store-front part of the lumbar yard.

Next comes Augusta Hardware, owned by R.A. Blowey and another man whose name I can’t remember. Blowey had two sons. Harold was a year younger than me, and Richard was two years older than me. Richard went to the University of Kansas on a football scholarship and did alright for himself.

Next was Charlie Rawlings’ filling station. I believe he had a Mobil franchise. Charlie had a son, Stanley, who was 2 or 3 years older than me. Charlie stayed in this location for several years until he acquired the Pontiac dealership at 4th and State.

Dave Thomas


4 thoughts on “Augusta, Kansas Part 3: State Street 600 Block East Side

  1. I just stumbled across this, looking for something else. (Isn’t that the way life works, most of the time?) My grandparents were H.P and Anna McDuffee. “The boys” would have been my Dad, Clinton, and his older brother Vernon. My Aunt Harryette helped out with the cash register. My parents (Clint and Hortense Bedell McDuffee) were 1945 graduates of Augusta High.


    1. Hi, Kate- Glad you found the blog. I didn’t know your parents, but I remember a Vernon McDuffee, and I knew some Bedell’s. If you are interested, there are 270 stories in the blog, and 40 or 50 of them have to do with Augusta. Sorry I don’t know you. I was born in 1936, and graduated from Augusta High in 1954. I see you are a vet! Good for you! Happy reading! Dave Thomas


  2. Hello Dave – I’m here in Denver, Colorado. I’m restoring a 1955 Vespa scooter and I often search for period correct accessories for it. Recently I found a 1950’s era McDuffee Service Station water transfer decal. It has the old Mobil Oil red Pegasus logo and McDuffee Service Station, along with “PO Box 227 Augusta, Kansas.” I wondered what it must’ve been like to hang out at McDuffee’s 65-70 years ago, and stumbled upon your blog here. It was nice to read about your experience there. It gave a nice glimpse back in time to a very different time and place.


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