Excerpts from chapter: "Business and Industry Through The Years" from "Honoring Our Heritage" by Marge Lawson, pg. 52.
Used with permission of the author.
Following is some added history of the businesses of Sylvan Grove.
In 1915 the Kasiska brothers built an auto repair and blacksmith shop where Ray Blase has his garage. F.A. Gatewood built a garage which was later sold to Frank Meyer, who operated an auto repair shop and sold Case implements. This building was later purchased by the city for the City Hall, Library and
as a Fire Station.
Gatewood's bought the Kasiska Brothers Garage in 1920. The first car sold by the Gatewood garage was the White Steamer. In 1908, F.A. Gatewood became a Ford dealer until 1913 when he took over the Chevrolet dealership. In 1918 R.A. Gatewood joined his father. He took over the dealership in 1922
and operated it until 1965. At that time it was the oldest Chevrolet dealership in the state of Kansas.
In 1920 W.J. Kasiska built a garage and repair shop by the house which he had built for his bride in 1917. He conducted the agency for Essex and
Hudson cars. In 1932 he went into the gas and oil business. His gasoline was the first to be transported into Sylvan by semi-transport truck. Up to
this time all the gasoline had been brought in by rail.
During the 1920's Bill Sigley had a funnel factory in a galvanized tin building next to where Elroy Spracklin lives. The funnels were sold locally
and to surrounding towns. Sigley patented a special device on the side of the funnel to hold it so it wouldn't tip from side to side when used to fill
barrels with gas.
Fred Steenbock was a blacksmith and machinist. He patented a centrifugal irrigation pump and a power saw for sawing iron. His shop was in what is
currently Sigle's Machine Shop owned by Frank Sigle and Jim Meeks. The rock building of Sigle's was built by Fred Rolfe in about 1910.
Baird Jewelry was next to Steenbock's. Baird also made watches.
In approximately 1910 the Farmer's State Bank was built. It was located in what is now Ray's Plumbing and Heating. In 1911, the directors of the bank
were: W.B. Middlekauff, President; C.E. Raffety, Vice-President; F.C. Larson, Cashier; G.B. Hopfer; Edward Buehring; J.P. Grim; D.E. Raffety; C.E.
Robinson; and D.B. Marshall. G.W. Ritcher was the assistant cashier. During the depression of the thirties, when banks were required to close
their doors, the Farmer's State Bank never reopened for business.
Instead of trucks in the early days of horse and buggies, there were draymen who met the train and hauled the produce to the stores. Pianos and furniture were delivered to the stores. They were the ones who hauled the
coal that everyone burned. In 1902, Hurlbut and Wilson were the draymen. W.D. Bennet was a drayman who had been in business for many years. In October 19ll, he was killed by a run-away team.