Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A Piece of Russell History Taken Down


     The photograph above, shows the Hasselquist building (the building later occupied by Merle Chester, Chester's Grocery). This building suffered damage but was saved from destruction when the Chariton Company arrived and a hose was finally coupled on and the blaze was soon extinguished on that building, but not until the whole west side had been practically burned out. If you compare this picture to the one where Sonnie's Beauty Shop was, you will see that at one time the building was a two-story building. Because of a shortage of hose it was some time before the firemen could reach the building.
     At one time Lloyd LaFavre had his grocery store on the SW corner of the intersection of Prairie and Shaw, in the old Hasselquist building.

     Merle and Oneita operated the Chester Feed and Produce of Russell for approximately 30 years. Before Merle had the store, the Hiles and the Behnkes owned it. Merle bought the store from the Behnkes. Oneita said they were at someone’s funeral when the south side of Shaw Street burned back in 1929. The building where they later had their store lost the whole top floor to the fire, but the building was saved and repaired.
Today, September 25, 2012, around 5:00p.m. a large truck pulled up in front of the building and unloaded the heavy duty piece of equipment shown in the color picture above. In less than two hours the building was torn down in order to construct a new modern building. Many people drove up and down Prairie Street to see a piece of Russell History disappear.

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