"At the Corner of McFarland and Pomeroy" The Odle Service Station, Hill City, Kansas in 1937
By Mike Boss
Casein and Gouache on Rag Board
11" x 19"

From the Collection of Fred Pratt, Hill City, Kansas

Text by and many thanks to Lowell Beecher, Graham County Historical Society, Hill City, Kansas

Odle Service Station.

Appearing in the January 26, 1928, Hill City Reveille-New Era-but buried on page #3-was a simple announcement: "We take pleasure in announcing to the public that our new oil and gas station on the corner northwest of the court house is now open for business. We have in stock a full line of tires, tubes and accessories. Call and look us over. The Odle Service Station." Actually, the Odle station was situated at the western extremity of the site of the Boston Department Store, which had burned a half-dozen years earlier.

By 1931, R.H. Odle--farmer and former Graham county Sheriff--offered regular advertising in the Reveille-New Era; in fact, Odle was very specific in advertising brand and trade names of highly-regarded products available at his small, corner station. For example, the station's early advertising was rife with Phillips 66 gasoline copy, with Seiberling battery promotions, and with Fisk tires and tubes information.

Almost concurrently, C.H. Baldwin opened his Conoco station immediately north of Dr. Grindle's office (across from the city hall) in March of 1931. Both Odle and Baldwin anticipated the arrival of a restructured Highway 40 North--what would become U.S. Highway 24--from the east, calculating that the under-improvement route would utilize the full length of North Pomeroy Avenue before joining West Main Street.

Unfortunately, both Odle and Baldwin were destined to have their dreams crushed when state officials determined that Hill City's primary north-and-south street was too narrow to handle transcontinental vehicularl activity; however both stations survived for a number of years, largely on local traffic.

Beginning in the second half of the 1930's and for several years thereafter, the Odle Service Station was leased to other agents, and R.H. Odle was serving as Hill City's marshal.

Graham County Historical Society Link: