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Several people ran a cafe in the city center


The following article Billie Jeans presents the history of the building that is now City Hall. Billie was the editor of our local paper for several years.

Here, let’s take a look at this part of the downtown business district.

Block 3 starts roughly in the lane east of City Hall and runs west to Curtis Avenue. There it turns south and walks to the corner of the Sisko Funeral Home lot, then back east to where it would join the alley if the alley had been cut at McIntosh Street, and finally back north to Pickens Street.

The sections facing what we know as Pickens Road started at the east end and ran west. Lots 1, 2, 3 & 4: Lot 4 is at the intersection of Pickens and Curtis Streets and City Hall occupies portions of Lots 1 and 2.

As the block returns east from Curtis Avenue, Sisco Funeral Home starts at Lot 5, followed by other lots, 6, 7, and 8.

Not all of these lots were kept as full lots; so it would appear today that there were more than four lots across from Pickens Road, but documents show that sometimes only part of a lot was sold to someone.

However, on March 31, 1891, Stephen D. Wood and Martha, his wife, gave an acre bond that apparently included all four lots across from the school property. The acre went to MDL Gore and James E. Lilley. Gore and Lilly paid $700 for the property.

A year later, on April 13, 1892, for $452, James E. Lilly bought the lot from Gore, his co-owner.

The following month, on May 30, 1892, J. E. Lilly, a “widower,” sold Lots 1, 2, 3, and 4 in block 3 of the “J. M. Putman and company”. In other words, Putman bought all of the lots facing Pickens Road from the alley to Curtis Avenue.

On November 22 of that year, JR Wheat purchased Lot 4. Lots 1, 2, and 3 were still behind the lane. There were no doubt other deals going on with these lots, and by the time the city purchased what became City Hall, they had received portions of Lots 1 and 2.

However, a double building had been erected long before that. K. T. Tetric’s daughter was Dorothy Burgin of Siloam Springs, whom the author spoke to while writing this story. She noted that she was young in the years when her father ran his business there. However, she understood that her father and Dr. L.O. Green together own the building. This appears to be supported by an exit suit in which Dr. Green funded the construction of the second floor.

For several years the city has enjoyed having a number of cafes operating in the building. Although the names of some of these owners were known, it was not possible to find out in what order they acted there.

Winnie Shadley Patterson of Rogers said her parents, Charles and Irene Shedley, rented it from Charlie Tetric, she thought. They redesigned it and opened the café on May 4, 1944. According to her, her father was a cook in the Navy and always dreamed of having his own cafe. However, he lived only a few weeks and died in July 1944. Vinnie thought that part of the workload that led to his heart attack was carrying water for the cafe across the street from the school pump.

Mrs. Shadley, with the help of her daughters Winnie and Marion, continued to run the café. Then, in October 1945, she married Don Johnson, and she and Irene continued to run the cafe for a couple more years.

Florence Ella Boleyn thinks it was around 1946 or 1947 when her parents, Dewey and Oona Battry, ran the cafe with the help of their sister-in-law Mildred Buttry.

Mrs. Boleyn also spoke to another local café owner, Pansy Gastineau, later from Springdale. With the help of her mother-in-law, Geneva Gastineau, she ran the business from October 1962 to August 1963.

Mrs. Gastineau reportedly sold the business to Mr. and Mrs. Howard Thomas. Thomas’ daughter, Cynthia Browning, said her mother was joined in the operation by Mrs. Howard Green. Mrs. Green later retired from the business, and Mrs. Thomas continued in business for another year or so.

Previously, Phil and Florence Begin ran the cafe from 1949 to 1951. Their daughter, Jenita Prophet, said her father also did real estate for Bob Vogt in the back of the cafe. The family lived in the back of the cafe, and she indicated that it was part of the building that later housed the Pea Ridge Fire Station.

At the same time, according to her, there was an apartment upstairs in which different families lived. And Charlie Tetrick’s feed store was in the southeast corner of the building.

According to her, this cafe was a popular place for teenagers to relax. They played music and played billiards.


Editor’s Note: This is the third part of four articles on the history of Pea Ridge City Hall by Billie Jeans, former editor of Pea Ridge Graphic.

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