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
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. 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.
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.