December 10, 2022

By Kathy Smith
Contributing Writer

In 1935, Lee’s Summit was still booming. Businesses were bought and sold and new construction and rehab was going on all over the downtown.

Rep. C. Jasper Bell of Jackson County, obtained official documentation that a survey of building stock would be started to find a larger building for the Post Office.

Schick Hardware located on the corner of 3rd and Douglas, now a bank, began selling the brand new Frigidaire refrigerators.

The city council approved the development of community garden projects which would be located in the Butterfield Addition and other locations around the community. If a citizen was having trouble paying his taxes, he was given the opportunity to work in one of the gardens to pay them off.

Santa Claus handed out over 700 sacks of candy to Lee’s Summit youngsters.

It was in this year that the cool little building located at 333 Douglas was built.

Our downtown had several car dealerships and many service stations, as they were called back then. Douglas was a main artery of Lee’s Summit that saw a lot of traffic. As a matter of fact, Douglas was called the Midland Capitol Highway. It was named after a bus line that ran through the downtown.

Also in 1935, a service station was built at 333 SE Douglas.

What a great location, right? The neat building was originally called the Wilcox Service Station. The business thrived. Heaven’s to murgatroyd if a horrible event didn’t happen there. A bold hold up was staged in 1938 by two ne’er-do-wells. Oh scandal of all scandals my little mystery lovers. They absconded with a total of twenty four dollars. This was a handsome sum, indeed. The culprits were never found. They must have hightailed it to parts unknown.

In 1942, the business was a collection point for license plates. This program was sponsored by the Future Farmers of America. The plates were sold for scrap to help the American Red Cross.

Oh lordy lordy, the service station was robbed again. The scoundrels were never found.

Eventually the station was sold to Ira Siegfried and Jerold Vernon.

Most folks today remember it as being owned by Jack Clark. Clark was known as the go to place for kids on bikes. He helped them put air in their tires and repair crimped chains. Folks are not sure if he ever sold any gas but he was sure good to the kids.

In those days, kids on bikes ruled. You could ride all over town and explore areas and watch the busy town of Lee’s Summit. Three of the kids who went to Clark’s place were Brent Sanders, Bobby Sanders and Doug Carnes.

Lots of you will recognize the Carnes family name because the family once owned the Dairy Queen located at 4th and Douglas. Dairy Queen was a staple in our downtown back then and still is today.

The Sanders-Carnes Gang were very busy boys indeed. Their days were filled with rigging up their bikes tires with all kinds of things. In the case of the Sanders boys, it was the family silverware. Their mother, the late Patricia Kalwei Sanders, would go to set the table for dinner only to find that the folks had been bent. It turns out the forks were part of the decorations on the spokes of their bikes. Sometimes playing cards and clothes pins were used. Oh, these boys were clever.

Times were simpler then. You could hear the slamming of screen doors and kids playing games outside in their yards. What kid could resist a game of Annie-Annie-Over? The goal was to throw the ball and the kid on the other side would catch it. Sometimes it was your house and sometimes neighbors.

Doug Carnes

That historic little service station building I was telling you about has now become The Filling Station, a great family barbecue restaurant. Little Doug, formerly of the Sanders-Carnes Gang grew up and is now the owner of the Filling Station. His brother, Greg told him that the business was for sale a few years ago. By this time, Carnes had developed his own way of smoking meat. Well, my barbeque buddies the rest is history. Carnes has really rocked the restaurant world in the downtown. What an experience. The welcoming picnic tables and the great vintage flair of the building are real a hit with restaurant goers. Families who live in the beautiful historic neighborhoods that surround the downtown town have only to walk a little ways to experience a great meal with all of the best sides.

I have one more story about the Sanders-Carnes Gang. Well, my Hollywood lovers. Carnes and Brent decided they were going to Hollywood to be discovered. The only thing they discovered is that a broken down car will not get you there. A phone call home saved the day. Sanders made it home but Doug stayed in Vegas. The rest is history.