Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The History of Chauncey Part 3

This is the third part of the History of Chauncey found by Flossie Price. It was compiled by Gertrude Phillips in  1954. If anyone has photos about Chauncey to add to our archives please scan them and send them to the Historical Society.  The only way to preserve the history of our county is to share what we have and what we know.

Part 3

The new village of Chauncey  flourished. The very first house in the area which was to be Chauncey was built by John Bace, who was also the first blacksmith. By 1860 Luther Watts and Robert Berkshire were Chauncey's merchants. In 1866 a grocery store bore the sign “Daniels and Wagner.” Dr. Goodman cared for the sick with medicines dispensed from the saddle bags slung across his big riding horse. A man named Hughes made ox yokes, wheat cradles, and other articles of wood, including coffins as they were needed. Perhaps it was also he who manufactured wagons, for Chauncey had a wagon factory for a short time.

In 1879 Dan Patton opened a drugstore on the northeast corner of the crossing. In 1873 Chauncey had a post office with George Barnes as the first postmaster. The mail was carried by a a star route from Sumner to the post offices  at Pasturefield, Chauncey, and Landes.

A public scales stood on the north side of the road near the Berkshire store. Buyers collected droves of sheep, hogs or cattle and they were weighed here before being driven overland to Sumner for shipment.

In the decades around the turn-of-the-century, several doctors chose Chauncey as a favorite place to set up practice. Drs. Murphy, Smith and Mountz and Petty are remembered by older residents. Dr. Ira Johnson was the last Dr. to have an office here.

The Lodge organizations were chartered, and for many years held lively meetings in their lodge halls above two of the stores. Haynes and Clements (also a Methodist preacher) had a furniture store and undertaking
Eastern Star parade at Chauncey
 business. The Correll blacksmith shop succeeded the older generation of ‘smithys.’** A Dr. Smith had a drugstore and office where the service station is now located.(1954)

By 1880 “Uncle” Billy McNeal was the proprietor of the general merchandise establishment which is now (1954) the location of Camp’s Store. Mr. McNeil ran a huckster route through the community, buying eggs, butter and chickens and from the stock loaded on the shelves in his covered van the country folk could buy most any staple article of food. By ordering anything the store had,  would be delivered on the next trip. Uncle Billy also took orders for supplies to be purchased for his neighbors when he made his weekly trips to Vincennes, where the produce he had bought was marketed.

Prices at McNeal’s store sound astonishing. Coffee was $.10 a pound; 25 pounds of flour cost $.25; and 3 pounds of sugar for a ‘quarter.’ The sugar purchased Uncle Billy wrapped and tied in a piece of brown paper as paper bags were almost unknown. Material for a calico dress cost $.50 as 10 yards were needed. At one time the post office was in the McNeal store, too, and during this time Chauncey's rural route was started with Loe Poindexter as the first carrier. .. continued tomorrow

** see April 19,2011 blog for more about Correll Blacksmith Shop or use the search button on the left side of the blog.