Several people operated cafes downtown

The following article by Billie Jines is the history of the building which is now city hall. Billie was the editor of our local newspaper for a number of years.

Here let us look at that portion of the downtown business area.

Block 3 starts roughly at the alley east of City Hall and goes westward to Curtis Avenue. There it turns south and goes to the corner of the Sisco Funeral Home lot, then back east to where it would join the alley if the alley had been cut through to McIntosh Street, and, finally, back north to Pickens Street.

The lots facing what we know as Pickens Road started at the east end, going west. Lot 1, 2, 3 and 4: Lot 4 is at the intersection of Pickens and Curtis, while City Hall occupies parts of Lots 1 and 2.

As the block heads back east off of Curtis Avenue, Sisco Funeral home starts on Lot 5, followed by the other lots, 6, 7 and 8.

These lots were not all kept as full lots; hence today it would seem as if there were more than four lots facing Pickens Road, but as deed records indicate, sometimes only part of a lot was sold to someone.

However, on March 31, 1891, Stephen D. Wood and Martha, his wife, gave a Warranty Deed for an acre that evidently included all four lots there across from school property. The acre went to M.D.L. Gore and James E. Lilley. Gore and Lilley paid $700 for the property.

Then, a year passed, and on April 13, 1892, for $452, James E. Lilley, bought out that tract from Gore, his co-partner in ownership.

The next month, on May 30, 1892, J. E. Lilley, "a widower," sold Lots 1, 2, 3 and 4 in Block 3 of the property to "J.M. Putman and company." In other words, Putman bought all of the lots facing Pickens Road from the alley back to Curtis Avenue.

On Nov. 22 that year, J.R. Wheat purchased Lot 4. This still left Lots 1, 2 and 3 back toward the alley. No doubt, other transactions took place involving these tracts, and by the time the city purchased what became City Hall, they got parts of Lots 1 and 2.

Long before that, though, the double building had been erected. A daughter of C.T. Tetrick was Dorothy Burgin of Siloam Springs, with whom this writer spoke while pursuing this story. She pointed out that she was young in the years her father ran his businesses there. However, she had understood that her father and Dr. L.O. Greene owned the building together. This apparently is borne out in the Quit Claim in which Dr. Greene financed the construction of the second floor.

For some years, the town enjoyed the availability of a series of cafes operating in the building. Although the names of several of these proprietors were learned, it was not possible to learn what order they operated there.

Winnie Shadley Patterson of Rogers said that her parents, Charles and Irene Shadley leased it from Charlie Tetrick, she thought. They remodeled it and opened a cafe May 4, 1944. Her father had been a chef in the Navy, she said, and had always dreamed of having a cafe of his own. However, he only lived a few weeks, dying in July 1944. Winnie thought part of the work load that helped bring about his heart attack was in having to carry water for the cafe from across the street at the school's pump.

Mrs. Shadley, with help of her daughters, Winnie and Marion, continued to operate the cafe. Then, in October 1945, she married Don Johnson, and he and Irene went on running the cafe for a couple of years.

Florence Ella Bolain thinks it was around 1946 or 1947 when her parents, Dewey and Una Buttry ran the cafe with help from their daughter-in-law, Mildred Buttry.

Mrs. Bolain also spoke to another proprietor of a cafe there, Pansy Gastineau, later of Springdale. With help from her mother-in-law, Geneva Gastineau, she operated the business from October, 1962 to August 1963.

Mrs. Gastineau reportedly sold the business to Mr. and Mrs. Howard Thomas. The Thomas's' daughter, Cynthia Browning, said that her mother was joined by Mrs. Howard Greene in the operation. Later, Mrs. Greene withdrew from the business, and Mrs. Thomas continued to run it for maybe a year or so.

Earlier, from 1949 to 1951, the cafe was operated by Phil and Florence Beguin. Their daughter, Jenita Prophet, said that her father also ran a real estate business there for Bob Vogt in the back of the cafe. The family resided in the back of the cafe, and she pointed out that this was in the part of the building that later housed the Pea Ridge Fire Department.

At the same time, she said, there was an apartment upstairs in which various families resided. And Charlie Tetrick's feed store was in the southeast corner of the building.

The cafe was a popular place for teenagers to hang out, she said. They played music and pool there.


Editor's note: This is the third in a four-part series on the history of Pea Ridge City Hall, written by Billie Jines, former editor of the Pea Ridge Graphic.