We started the day by dropping by Ayers’ Pottery on 3rd Street in Hannibal to meet Steve Ayers, son of Aunt Donna McMichael Ayers. He graciously volunteered to meet us the next day, pick up his mother, “Aunt” Donna, and drive up to the old Stasey place in northwestern Shelby County.
Steve gave us some family history, including a
story about Doctor Archibald Borron, who emigrated from Scotland. Evidently the Borrons had lived in Scotland,
were very well to do, and had sent young Archibald Borron to medical school at
Oxford. Two things occurred to deplete
the family fortune. First, the Borrons
were in the sheep business, which supplied wool to the English textile
industry. The innovation of cheap cotton
from India undermined that. The Borrons
were also in the coal mining business and when the Government passed rules to
clean up the mines, conditions were apparently deplorable, the Borrons were
bankrupted. Dr. Borron solved his cash
problem by marrying the spinster, Adriana Dwindt, for her dowery. He set off for America and arrived in
Missouri about 1844.
After this story, we set off to Anabel intending to see the site of the old Stasey filling station at the corner of Highway 36 and the cross road to Anabel (Intersection of Odessa and HW 36). At the location of the old station we met a Mr. McEwen who runs an automotive repair place. He was about to get on his tractor to pull his riding mower out of the mud in a roadside ditch. Mr. McEwenn explained that the station had been moved away several years before and that the current buildings had been built in the ‘60s and ‘70s or later.
Remaining concrete posts of T. A. Stasey's station at Anabel, Missouri
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The current owner of the property is in the automotive business.
This is how the station appeared in about 1940, perhaps 10 years before Tommy Stasey and his wife ran it. It looked much the same, but with updated pumps. The house to the left was gone, and the Staseys lived in a little cottage out back. The two remaining concrete posts in the pictures above are presumably the bases of the porch pillars in this picture, indicating the road has been widened.
This is the street view from HW 36, circa 2019. The concrete pillars mark the location of the station's porch pillars. The cottage in the back appears to be a different building than the one occupied by the Staseys in the early 1950s. Tommy Stasey loved fireworks, and enjoyed shooting cherry bombs at the stop sign from a slingshot.