Marshall Auto Store – 1940s and 1950s, Kansas City, Missouri

My grandfather Wallace Paul Cowan (1903-1988) loved cars. He had a long career as a salesperson and manager of Marshall Auto Store in Kansas City, Missouri.

I remember riding with Grandma to pick up Grandpa from work at Marshall Auto Store in the 1970s, and I think it was this Truman Road location. They had a Coke machine, and sometimes I’d be given a dime to get myself a soda. I’d grab the cold glass bottle with the sharply crimped metal cap and pull really hard. Once I’d wrestled the bottle from the machine, I’d use the opener attached to the side of the machine to pry the cap off. I’d savor that bottle of Coke the whole drive home.

I have wonderful photos from inside and outside of the stores, so I wanted to share them.

Marshall Auto Store – 1933 – 3914 Main Street, Kansas City, Missouri

My beautiful picture

My beautiful picture

In 1933 when these photos were taken, my grandfather had been married three years and had a 2 year old.  They were living 7 miles away with my grandmother’s family, because it was the Great Depression and the families needed to share expenses. They lived that way for over a decade.

It looks like Marshall Auto Store moved to a much bigger location. At least by 1944 they are located at an address 3 miles away.

Marshall Auto Store – 2300 E Truman Road, Kansas City, Missouri

My mom Carol Cowan Hopper (1937-2010) told me that the family lived above the store from the time she was a child through her teens, in a big apartment with spacious rooms.

She remembered her address was 2304 1/2 E Truman Road. Some of the photos are marked with the address “2300 E 15th Street” which is confusing. From Google Maps, I see that 2300 E 15th Street meets with Truman Road. But from “street view” I can see the building pictured below at 2300(ish) E Truman Road, about a mile away.

My beautiful picture

Frank Arnone, Red Myers, Dick Stintzi and Wallace Paul Cowan at Marshall Auto Store – undated

My mom remembered that Frank Arnone and his wife Angie owned a grocery store on the corner, where they did most of their shopping. They would run up a ticket and pay it weekly or monthly.

My beautiful picture

1944

My beautiful picture

1947

My beautiful picture

1951

My mom remembered that during her high school years, her mother Ellen Barber Cowan (1908-1990) did the bookkeeping for the store.

My beautiful picture

From what I can remember, my grandfather left Marshall Auto in the late 1970s. He wasn’t happy about it, even though he was of retirement age, and I think it was due to the store closing.

Do you have a connection to Marshall Auto Store?  Do you have Frank Arnone, Red Myers, or Dick Stintzi in your family tree?

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