Clara

Written by Marie (Wurtz) Hartman

    Just east of the Clara school by a 4-corner road was a high, white, 2 stories, country store on a hill. This was owned and operated by Peter (Pete) and his wife Katherine (Kate) Steier. The deed shows that this property was purchased from George and Mary Wurtz on January 20, 1892 for the sum of $700, witnessed by R. Howley, Justice of the Peace.
    The store was located in Grant Township in SE of SE1/4, Sec. 35, which is twelve miles north of Clifton, Kansas. It was an early trading post for purchasing groceries and several needed farm supplies. There were steps on the west side of the store, which led to the large upstairs, where dances and parties were held. When automobiles came, a gas pump was installed on the east side near the front entrance. The north part was the living quarters of the Steier family. A United States Post Office was established there in 1892 and Peter Steier was the postmaster until it was closed in 1904.
    The store stood as a landmark for several years after the deaths of Pete and Kate Steier. In the 1970s it was sold to and demolished by Norbert Ohlde of Linn, Kansas.
    Another store at the same time owned and operated by Gregory and his wife Louise Fortier was located on the east side of the road, across from the Clara store. Also a blacksmith shop was near by. The Fortier store was not in existence as long as the Clara (Steier) store.
    Very little is now known of another store, which was 1/2 acre of land near the old original St. Bernard's Catholic Church and cemetery.

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