When I venture downtown on a Saturday, it almost breaks my heart to see Main Street devoid of people. There are almost no people on First Street, either.


Who would have thunk it?

Back in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s, half the county would be in town doing something. There was a lot of good grocery stores in town and Saturday was the day to stock up on groceries for the following week.

That drew a lot of people to town.

Another big draw was the movies. There was the Madison and State Theatres, which were packed on Saturdays. I remember a long line at the Madison Theatre waiting to see Will Rogers in "Steamboat 'Round the Bend."

Behind the State Theatre on the corner of Third and Main Street there was a putt-putt golf course. I remember vividly my Uncle Coleman Edwards practice swinging and hitting me in the jaw.


On Irvine Street there was a six-lane duck pin bowling alley owned by Norris Lynn Manuel which was located in a building that was on a lot that is now city hall parking. I loved bowling and I was one of his best customers.

Good memories.

I vaguely remember a big pin bowling alley that was in the basement on Main Street between the Madison Southern Bank and the State Bank. That was in the late 1920s or early 1930s.

First Street was also a very busy place on Saturdays.

On the north corner of Irvine Street and First Street was a creamery. Behind it was a grocery store I believe was Cowans.

The police station was across the street from it.

In front of the police station on Irvine Street, the fire station was located close to where the jail is now. Upstairs over the fire station there were bedrooms. Edwin West and I resided there for several years while we were in college. The room was free, as we were on call to jump on the firetruck and go to the fires. The city fire protection then was handled by volunteer firemen and over half our volunteers were World War II veterans.

Exciting time of life.

Another room was for County Judge Parks, which was upstairs over a legal office on the north corner of Irvine and First Street.

On the south corner was Cooney Neff's bar. I remember the beautiful marble bar in his place. I delivered a paper there when I was a paper boy.

Going further south on First Street there was a fish market, café, two pool rooms and a furniture store on the corner of Main and First.

Crossing Main Street, the next corner was McKee's ladies clothing store where they sold stylish women's clothes.

Behind McKee's on First Street was the old Richmond Armory used during World War I. This was later a skating rink and then was Bluegrass Plumbing and Heating.

Across the street on the corner of First and Water there was a three-story building. On the bottom floor was a popular restaurant and the top floor was Speck's Lounge and Gaming Parlor.

Speck Young was a mighty nice person. He helped a lot of people.

First Street was a gamblers paradise, with bookies upstairs over some of the businesses and card games in the back of the pool rooms and bars.

It is rumored that Jim Black lost a fortune to some crooked bookies on the horse races. The Black family once owned the block between Moberly Avenue, Broadway, Second and Third Streets.


I lived across the street on Second Street and saw a lot of the Black family.

I remember seeing a horse racing along a pasture on Broadway, and a pretty electric car come through the gate on the corner of Second and Moberly during their good times. Their beautiful home is still located behind the Redi-Mart on the corner of Second and Moberly.

In the summer, I can remember the police sitting outside the station on First Street across from Cowan's grocery as there was no air conditioning then.


Another attraction in Richmond was the ice cream factory on Main Street next door to Canfield Motors. There was generally a line of people waiting to get served their heaping ice cream cones. Their milkshakes were delicious and the banana splits awesome.

A couple of stores away from the ice cream parlor was Berthoff's Bakery, which served up top notch baked goods.

Their crème puffs were delicious!

One big reason downtowns have quit thriving is the big mega-market stores like WalMart, Kroger's, Meijer and others have moved most shoppers to the outskirts of town where it is easier to get in and out of the stores.

I miss the old way of life, but as Bob Hope would say, "Gone but not forgotten."

Call to WWII veterans

In last week's article, I asked for all World War II Veterans to write or call me.

I have had a pretty good response and received four World War II veterans, but I know there are more out there. So, if you know of one give my cub reporter, Carolyn, a call at 859 248-4273. I would like to get us all together and talk. You can also email me at glenmorejones@gmail.com

I received a nice note from World War II veteran Neil Parke (Navy). Harold Richardson Jr., also sent me a nice note.

Thank you both.


Goodbye, Pat

On a sad note, Madison Country Club lost one of their most loved members, Pat Brandenburg.

Pat has been a member in the real sense of the word. She was there for events and volunteered countless hours checking people in for golf and being a goodwill ambassador.

We will miss this lady very much.

Final thought

In the final analysis, it is not what you do for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves that will make them successful human beings -- Ann Landers.

Until next time … live, love, laugh and learn, Glenmore

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