Blacksmith shop, Jim Howard’s Model T dealership and garage,
the Howard Post Office, and General Store
In 1918 Jim Howard, a descendant of John Howard for whom the town was named, built this long, white building. On the far left, he had a Model T dealership and service business. On the far right, he had a general store and sold shoes.
In 1946, Harold Willoughby acquired the business just before he and Nancy were married. The garage on the south end of the building had a pit for servicing vehicles. Harold also stocked common items like fan belts, oil, and basic parts. He had a counter with a cash register which he rarely used – he preferred to pull out his billfold. He also allowed townspeople to make monthly installments to pay for goods or services. Harold had a reputation for coming to the aid of stranded motorists and would sometimes help them free of charge. The Willoughby family operated the Howard Garage for more than 60 years.
In 1947, the Howard Post Office was moved from the Freeman house, which is across the road, to the little building on the right where Jim Howard’s store had been. It remained
here until the 1970s.
When the Willoughbys had their auction a few years ago, they found evidence that there had been a blacksmith shop. In the back of the old garage were a forge and blacksmith hand tools.