A Bit of Roosterville History

Roosterville Store
Roosterville Store

King Arthur is singing:

“Don’t let it be forgot / That once there was a spot / For one brief shining moment / That was known as…”

No, wait.  He’s not singing about Roosterville.  But in some ways, Roosterville sounds almost as long ago and far away as Camelot.  Yet to those of us who were privileged enough to have been a part of Roosterville and it’s history, it was a great and golden place and time.

In her master’s thesis at the University of Missouri in 1937, titled “Place Names Of Five West Central Counties Of Missouri.” , Anne Atchison described Roosterville as “A group of a few houses in north-central Liberty Township. Named by several men who thought the name unusual.”

According to the book Discovering Historic Clay County, Missouri published by the Clay County Archives and Historical Society “Roosterville is a crossroads community Located in Liberty Township.  It was originally centered around the general store owned by George W. Hudlemeyer, which sold liquor and groceries.  The name originated around 1912.”

Some of the previous owners of Roosterville Store include:

  • George W. Hudlemeyer
  • Roy & Juanita Hudlemeyer
  • Conley  Warren
  • Woody & Emma Thomas
  • Clyde & Jenny Kendrick
  • Howard & Jane Dillon (1962)
  • Bobby & Pat Egelhoff  (Oct 1972)
  • Jack & Jan Sharp

The store building held not only retail space, but also living quarters for many years.  When we moved to the farm in 1963, the Dillon family lived there and operated the store.  They later moved to a home on the northwest corner of what is now A Highway and 112th Street, just across the road from the store.  At that time, A Highway was called C Highway.

The store itself had various configurations over the years.  As I recall, there were staple items like bread, flour, sugar, etc as well as some canned goods and paper products.  Some owners also had cigarettes,  a dairy case, eggs,  a small meat counter usually with cold cuts, and other items they thought their clientele would be likely to need and purchase. store 3 There was always cold pop, sometimes hot coffee,  and a candy counter, which our bus driver would occasionally stop and let us visit on our trip home from school at Kearney.  The store was a sort of early incarnation of today’s Casey’s and 7-11 stores.  One major difference though was that some of the owners offered short-term credit for their customers, a practice that was appreciated, but sadly often costly to the proprietor, making turning a livable profit difficult.

For many years, there were two gas pumps in front of the store’s concrete porch. one for regular,, and one for “ethol” (premium) gasoline.  We would often stop for gas and a cold pop when hauling hay, feed, cattle, and other farm trips.  You never knew who you might run into at Roosterville Store.  It was the hub of the community.

There was a small garage on the south end of the store where we would sometimes get tires repaired, or other mechanical services done, depending upon the skills and talents of the owner at the time.  One garage stall had a “pit” beneath it, which allowed you to stoop under a vehicle to work on it.  This space was sometimes rented out on a per job basis.  I can remember changing the clutch in a hotrod ’55 Chevy there.  Another friend rented the space to swap engines in his ’68 Mustang.  Many a bicycle, farm wagon, and pickup truck were repaired here over the years.

store 6

Today, a private residence sits on the site where Roosterville Store once served the community.  Only memories remain in the minds and hearts of all those who crossed it’s front porch over the years.  Do you have memories of Roosterville?  If you’ve got any pictures or stories from Roosterville and the surrounding area,  please let us hear you.  Leave a comment, or email us at webmaster@Roosterville usa.com.

57 Replies to “A Bit of Roosterville History”

  1. Woody Thomas was my Grandfathers Brother. My Father, Stan Thomas, talked of the times they would stop at the store to visit with his Uncle Woody. Also found out whoever owned the store at the time was the self proclaimed Mayor of Roosterville. An extremely high honor………NOT.

  2. Great post! Wonderful photos! Thanks so much for mentioning “Discovering Historic Clay County” and for including a link to our website. Much appreciated!

  3. Woody and Emma Thomas were my grandparents. I have lots of great memories of the store and garage. I will have to go through some old photos to see if I can find some.

  4. My grandparents were Woody and Emma Thomas. I was around 2 years old to 8 or 9 when they lived in Roosterville. My Uncle Jack Thomas lived in a trailer next door and worked in the garage with Grandpa. Both took care of the gas pumps. My Uncle Bill Lee Sterling also worked there at one time. Grandma tended the store, sliced meats in the deli section, and took orders on the phone occasionally. They also had some feeds for animals and sundry items. My twin sister, Jean Mynatt Oltvedt and our brother Kris Mynatt spent a lot of time with our grandparents after our father passed. Mom took us there after church in Pleasant Valley. We were sneaked a Tootsie roll once in a while, or got to share a soda pop. Loved having ‘fresh’ bologna sandwiches. We had family dinners in the house attached to the store. Grandma and Grandpa always made sure we had groceries to take home with us during the tough times.

    I remember the Hudlemeyers and the Dillons. Uncle Bill Lee married Janet Dillon and they lived in a underground house somewhere out in the country from the store.

    I had wonderful grandparents. They left us all with sweet memories.

  5. Additional comment–There was a big heavy guy named Roy who used to frequent the store. He was a little slow and always smelled of b.o. and urine. My Uncle Bill was an ornery young buck and he used to torment this poor guy. He would embarrass him about his crush on my widowed mother. Mom was always kind to Roy and insisted that we be nice, too. Does anyone else remember that guy? He always bought an orange soda (I think) and would hang around until Grandpa told him to go home.

    1. I remember Roy. I think he lived North of the store somewhere and am not sure but i think the only vehicle the family owned was an old tractor. I think but not sure the police told his dad he would have to quit driving the tractor to town.

  6. I lived in the area for most of my life. I loved riding my horse up to the store and get candy, going the back roads. I was not to ride that far and would get into trouble everytime. The Dillon ‘ s owned the store when my folks moved out to the Roosterville area. Sometimes after closing time, you could find music and dancing on the weekends. Neighbors would gather for a little visit and soon some music played, country of course. Then some dancing would be had. I loved the little store and the fact I grew up in the country. When I was 5 I started school in a one room school house. There was not kindergarden, 1-8 grades, one big room. It was fun as well. That was the only year I got to go as they all closed down and bussed us to Kearney school. Lots have changed over the years. As farmers got older or passed on, their land sold, and sub divison were started. When people ask where I am from I always say Roosterville, MO.

    1. I went to that little school. We moved after that year. My brother Mike Lindaman and a friend Robert Dorfell both drowned in a nod in Roosterville. My dad Sam lindaman worked in the garage there at thebstore.

  7. i grew up in clay county and I thought Roosterville was located where the Ameristar Casino is now. Exactly where was Roosterville. I remember seeing the city sign.

    1. Roosterville Store was located on the south west corner of Missouri “A” Hiway and N>E> 112th Street.


    2. The little village to which I believe you are referring is Randolph – and it’s still there with its 20 mph speed limit and police department that loved to write speeding tickets – ha!

  8. The candy counter was my favorite spot when I was a child. Jane Dillon’s smiling face always letting my brothers and I get one piece of penny candy for free. It would take me several minutes to decide what to get. I remember spending the night in their “home” in the store. When I would spend the night with Betty Stevenson who lived just west of the store, we would walk down to get candy too. Roosterville was where I was born and lived until 5th grade and my grandfather, Claude Porter was a regular at the store too. I have such great memories of this time in my life. Life was so much simpler then.

    1. It seems a LOT of us have memories of the candy counter at Roosterville Store, Debra. I know I do! Thanks for sharing yours.

  9. I have many wonderful memories of visiting that store when my Aunt and Uncle (The Dillon’s) owned it. We made the trip from Ky, in a 65 ford convertible(no air), with myself, sister, parents, grandmother and great grandmother. I think we stayed a week or more, not alot of time but great memories were made…I always thought it felt important that my Uncle owned a store, even if it was Roosterville…it was important to me!!

  10. Our family also spent a lot of time in Roosterville, my grandparents Logan and Jesse Clark lived just north of the store on, then, C hwy. Walked up the pasture or on the side of the road many times to go buy bubble gum. I now live in Roosterville myself, next door to the house my grandparents lived.

    1. Thanks for the comment, Danny. I actually knew your grand-parents a bit. I can remember my folks playing cards at their home on several occasions. Howdy neighbor!

    2. Danny, I remember my grandparents Roy and Juanita Hudlemeyer playing cards at your grandparents Logan and Jesse Clark’s house. I was there on occasion when I would spend the weekend at my grandparents.

  11. In response to Jan Mynatt Casady’s inquiry about the man named Roy. You are talking about Roy Smith. He lived down the road from Roosterville store. Some days he would walk up to the store and others he would walk in to Liberty and go to Bud’s Pool Hall or Shelby’s bar or the Corner bar. He was teased a lot but there was always someone at the end of the day that would give Roy a ride home so he didn’t have to walk all the way back to Roosterville. My aunt and uncle (Mary and Leonard Warren) used to live on Plattsburg Rd. across the road from Prairie Home School (a 1 room school). When I used to spend the weekend with my cousins (the Warren kids), we usually stopped in at the Roosterville store sometime during the weekend. That is when the Dillon’s ran it. Those were the “good ole days”!!!

  12. I went there several times when I was a little kid from Kearney Mo. I think we would get gas and a bottle of pop. Walt Carey was my step-dad if anyone knew him .

  13. This brought back a memory of the Roosterville chicken race, don’t remember what year. My kids were little though it was a great day.does anyone else remember this?

    1. Yes . . . I’m thinking it was called the ‘Rooster Fly’ and thought they had it several years running in conjunction with maybe a big picnic.

    2. That was put on by the Duckworth’s when the owned the airport which was originally “Mitchell Field” owned by a Floyd Mitchell. He later sold it to the Duckworth’s who later sold to Paul Stuber

  14. We lived west of Roosterville Store in the early 1970’s (moved just before it started building up around there – farther out in the boonies) – many happy memories of the store and the area. Our kids attended Little Shoal school (2 buildings, 1 through 4, and 5 through 8) – shortcut across a pasture of 1/2 mile instead of walking around by the highway. They & friends used to ride their ponies & horses to the Store for treats. I don’t know who started the Roosterville Chicken Fly, but it was a big event during the time we lived there. I remember we had a celebrity in the neighborhood – Randall Jesse was a local broadcast personality. I remember him most because he helped the first Hawaiian Club Luau be a wonderful event – flew in fresh pineapples and flowers on American Airlines – big deal in those days!

  15. My grandparents were Roy and Juanita Hudlemeyer and have many memories of the Roosterville Store. I miss them so much. My grandmother would tell me stories about Roosterville; shared many weekends visiting with Tom and Letha who lived next to my grandparents and the Stevensons.

  16. As kids i can remember the excitement of riding in the old chevy truck to the Roisterville store with my Dad, Wilson Shuck, brothers Bill&Jim and sis Arlene. Daddy would visit with Howard or any of the Huddlemeyer that were there. About worldly issuses, such as corn prices, hog prices, garden and weather. If anybody they knew needed help or a hand with something. We would play in the dusty geavel with our bare feet, me and sister, knowing we would get an ice cold 10 cent pop to share amongst the four of us. I rememer this like it was yesterday, because i was the youngest and got the last tiny swallow of that vess orange or grape nehi. Those were the days.

  17. I use to go fishing with my Dad up at Rosterville lake and also took a plane ride with my daughter Susan Prewitt and Lowell Fairchild as the pilot. Went to a chicken fly there.

  18. There are still a bunch of Hudlemeyer’s around – many, many of them graduated from Liberty High School. When I graduated from LHS in 1963, one of the Juniors was Everette Hudlemeyer. Probably many of them are on Facebook somewhere, and will read this post. 🙂

  19. We grew up on a 100 acre farm about 1 1/2 miles north of the store on A Highway (originally C Highway) my Dad purchased from Mr. Reynolds in 1956. It is where Fishing River crosses the road and is now Woodlyn Estates. My brothers and sister and I often went to the store with our collie, named “Kip” by foot, Bike, horse and tractor to visit the candy rack.

  20. My husband’s family (Reynolds & Livingston) was from that area and my family moved there in 1965. I remember the store very well. His grandmother told us that it was named Roosterville because all of the men would hang out at the store playing checkers etc. and the women called them Roosters, hence Roosterville.

  21. My Grandparents were George and Mae Hudlemeyer, although my Grandma Mae was the only grandparent I ever knew. As a very young boy, I would figure out a way to encourage Grandma to give me a dime or a nickel, so when I went to Roosterville Store I could buy a cold pop (Sunshine Orange was my favorite) for a dime or a candy bar for a nickel. The pop was very cold in that old cooler that was like a maze as you move the pop bottle along to the point it would release. My Grandma had a soft spot for the Roosterville Store…I guess because they once owned it. I would travel with her to “town” to the A&P Store to buy groceries, however she would always stop at Roosterville to fill up with gas or to buy a “few items” to keep the store going. Fun times!

  22. Dad (Oliver Happy) was the rural letter carrier for Route 1 out of the Liberty Post Office for many years until he retired in 1976. He would always stop at the Roosterville Store for a soda and candy bar. It was always a birthday treat for me to go with him on the route – crammed into the back seat with all the bundles of mail – years later, I learned Mother always looked forward to those days, too – I wasn’t at home bugging her!!!

  23. I remember Roosterville vividly! I grew up North of Fishing River on (old C ) now A Highway. Roy and Juanita Hudlemeyer, The Thomases, and The Dillons were the operators I remember. Also I recall, The Summas, who moved to Kansas, operating the store for a time. It was fun to stop by the store for a bottle of pop, a candy bar or a pack of chewing gum. The fresh sliced bologna or pickle loaf was my favorite! As Karen mentioned above, the pop was always Vess or Nehi! Roosterville was the local news hub, births and deaths were announced there. If it was a death, money was collected for floral memorials there too. Roy and Juanita’s children, Anna Lee, Jimmy and Melvin attended Providence School with me.

    1. You were next door to us. I mowed the Harris’ lawn one summer and it was a big one. We would go visit and Mr. Harris would bring out a box of arrowheads, pipes, old bullets and things he found on the farm.

  24. I lived on a farm north of 71 Bypass a few miles east of Nashua. But I always attended school in Liberty by riding a school bus. Through the years the bus route changed. At one time, it went through Roosterville and I definitely remember what the store looked like. I also was familiar with it because my best friend in high school was a local Roosterville girl named Marylou Harris who lived on C Highway. I spent the night at the Harris house many times. Marylou and I are still friends after all these years.

    My first job offer after college, was a teaching position at Providence School, which I reluctantly turned down. Then I accepted one in the Liberty system.

  25. We lived there just North of the store and went to school st Walnut Grove. I rember walking to the store many times. I have loved reading this

  26. It was nice to be able to pick up a loaf of bread or a gallon of milk on the way home from work and not have to hunt for a parking space in town. I remember when there were dances in the little building next door. And the chicken-flying contests. I think Ectonville is the only convenience store round still.. Anyone remember Bub Reynolds and Yosamite (Yo sa mite) on the corner of C (then, now A) highway and 136th st. And NO it was not pronounced like the famous park, I grew up in the neighborhood and attended Prairie Home school and the old Prairie Home Church on Liberty Plattsburg Rd. All are gone now. Roosterville store burned down, but we’re still here and lots of fond memories.

  27. I think it was 3rd grade when I went there. My brother Sam Jr. Me, Linda Lindaman and a brother Mike. We went to school with The Dorfell kids. My brother Mike and Robert Dorfell drowned in a pond right there. I am looking for any pictures or articles. My dad worked in that garage there at one Time. Sam Lindaman. Any memories???

  28. my aunt and uncle ran the store we would stay with my cousin on weekends Howard and Jane Dillon we still drive by the place occasionally we live in Liberty now I am one of Orval {Beanie} and Frances Reynolds twins it was a cool place thanks for sharing Diane Reynolds Holderman

  29. I took my two boys to the Roosterville chicken fly put on by 61 country. We bought a chicken at the event. You would take your chicken and put it in a mailbox open at both ends. Then you would push it out with a plunger and they would measure how far it would fly. We never won but had a blast at the event. We got some nice tee shirts and a good baking chicken. Miss those days. Thanks for helping me remember.

  30. The last time it was opened was by my parents, Jack and Jan Sharp. We only had it a few years, but as a kid about 10 years of age, I recall a lot of fun at the store. I learned to play pool in the back right room, and I ran the register on occassion when Dad would be busy or out in the garage working. Mom worked a full time job in the city and evenings/weekends at here accounting business (J&J Business Service) that she had for 50+ years. It is now owned and operated by one of her previous employee’s Melissa under the same name. Many of the comments in this chain really brought back some memories of that time. The soda pop in the water cooler, long candy shelves in front of the register, quarters from the register to play pool all got the better of me. We did have the two gas pumps and garage with grease pit in operation. I recall Doyle bringing down his GTO and working on his 307 small block. I think it was a 307 he rebuilt. Doyle also got me my first job at age 13 working with him at Schellcrest Farms just East of the store. I could go on but…

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