Store: John Zallar Store


Surnames: Zallar, Cesnik, Routar, Zupancic, Quast, Prock, Ingham, Lesar, Bayuk, Pekol, Gregorich, Fortuna, Scharenbrock, Perko, Murphy, Suda

----Source: Family Scrapbook

In 1912 John Zallar came to Willard and built a store almost directly across the street from the Cesnik building. Zallar's store kept dynamite, which was stored across the street to the north — just east of Happy Routar's farm home. Directly behind the store they had a barn and pig shed. The barn was later moved to the Zupancic farm, just north of the softball diamond and still stands there.

He and his family operated that store until they sold it to Hugo Quast and Linus Prock in about 1924. Hugo bought Ingham's stock and moved it to the newly purchased Company Store. Mary Lesar worked in that store for ten years. In 1932 Mr. Quast was appointed Post Master of Willard. Ignac Cesnik Jr. who was employed there at that time then became manager.

He and his wife (Mayme Bayuk) operated that store until 1938. Included in this operation were dry goods, hard-ware, groceries, feed and seeds and John Deere line of farm machinery; also bulk oil and gasoline. Store hours in those days were from the first time a farmer rapped on the door in the morning till the last one departed in the evening, usually 7 A.M. till 10 P.M. during the week and from after first Mass on Sunday until noon.

Employees at that time were Joe Pekol, Joe Gregorich and Tony Fortuna was delivery man. Part time helpers were Joe Bayuk and John Scharenbrock.

The bulk fuel tanks were located north of the metal warehouse, west of the store, close to the railroad tracks so fuel could be pumped from the tank cars. When the railroad was discontinued the fuel business gave way to other vendors by truck. The metal warehouse was built by Joe Bayuk and Joe Pekol and still stands and is used.

In 1938 this business was sold to Charles Perko. He and his wife operated the store and expanded to feed- grinding. The grinder was powered by various means. Charlie first used an old steel wheeled monster of a I.H.C. tractor which had to be hand-cranked start, many I times during the day. Later, he used a John Deere A. Then came an engine taken from a Buick car, rebuilt to turn the mill. An International Industrial engine then powered the mill until 3 phase electrical power came. Eventually these cumbersome machines were replaced by electrical motors.

About this time the farms in the area were developing a need for more and bigger machinery. Charlie sold many rubber-tired tractors and equipment to go with them.

In 1946 he sold the business to two of his brothers, Eddie and Freddie Perko and moved to Marshfield. Perko Brothers operated this store until 1952 — Ed then bought Fred's share and operated the store until he retired in 1972. He then sold to Floyd Murphy. The Murphy family operated the store and Feed Mill for four years, then sold to Stanley Suda's store in 1976 and they are using the buildings for storage.



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