Augusta, Kansas: Part 4- 6th Avenue

We’ve arrived at 6th Avenue, and we’ll go west from State Street. Go a block to the northeast corner of 6th and Walnut, and you’ll find the dealership for International trucks and farm tractors. I don’t remember the name of the dealership.

Go across the street to the southeast corner of 6th and Walnut, and you will find the Scholfield Hurst Motor Company. It is a Ford dealership owned by Gene Scholfield and Jap Hurst. Gene and Erlene Scholfield had a son, Keith, who was a classmate of mine. Keith and I have been friends since we were four years old. Keith is still active in the local real estate market. Jap and Geneva Hurst had a son, Alan. Cliff Harding was the Service Manager at Scholfield-Hurst, and he also drove the company wrecker. Cliff had a son, Chuck, who was a year younger than Keith and I, and a daughter, Cherry, who was 3 or 4 years older. Ed Mehl worked in the body shop until he and Doug Sawtelle joined up and opened their own body shop.

Going east from State Street on 6th, on the north side of the street, we find Safford Lumber Yard. I didn’t have any need to visit them.

Across the street, on the south side, was the City Building. It contains city offices, the library, city clerk, Public Works, the police station, and the fire house. The police and fire stations were on the west end of the building, starting with a big garage to house the fire engine and a brush rig. Next to the overhead garage door was a regular entrance door. Just inside the door was a brass pole for the firemen to slide down when they were being called out. My friends and I would stop in once in a while to slide down the pole. No one ever seemed to mind. The only fire chief I remember was Bud Presnell. He had several kids, but the only one I remember is Claude. The only two police chiefs I recall are George Lietzke and Frank Bennington. Both of them would always wave and talk to a kid.

I remember two guys as Justice of the Peace. The first was Johnny Mercer, and the second was Tom Irwin. I only had to do business with Judge Tom Irwin once. That was after the cops picked us up for swimming in the city lake. Judge Irwin let us cool our heels in jail for an hour before giving us a stern lecture about swimming in the city’s water supply, and said there would be grave consequences if it happened again.

Dave Thomas


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