By: Stan Jordan
The other day a lady asked me what the word “Pocock” meant on the building on the west side of Main Street in the second block.
The Pocock brothers, John and Emmett, had a grocery store on the corner where the Hometown Pantry is now located. That was in 1887 and the front of the store faced the north. Dr. Murphy’s dentist office was up stairs.
In 1888, the store and that whole block was destroyed by fire. In 1891, the boys built those two buildings and put their name on the top and called it the Pocock Block.
Now the Hometown Pantry utilizes both of those buildings or the whole Pocock Block. I will tell you what I know about that area.
As you stand and look at that building from Main Street, the part to the north was, in my time, was the Oak Bar and Grill owned by Frank Knight, he was also a dealer in bailing hay and straw. In 1935 or so this business was moved to the north and in a few years, the name was changed to The Oasis, Al Gysinger was the owner a little after the WWII.
The south side of the Pocock Block in my time was the Star Theatre and owned by Brownie Cromley. He acquired it from Jerry Anspaugh in 1919 and it was a movie house until in the late 1950’s.
After the Oak moved across the railroad, Dr. Frank Smith had a drug store there on the corner and after WWII he had a new building built across the railroad and Main Street where now the Petals and Vines shop is located.
The building where the Ice Cream Depot is, when I was a boy, that was the Kroger store. Then about 1935 or so, they moved north of the tracks to where the Antwerp Hardware is.
Back to that block where the Keystone is, was, at that time, the American Legion building, and the next door south was the Ralph Schooley Bakery.
Lotta Doering married one of the Pocock boys. The Doerings, Pocock’s, Foster’s, Zuber’s and Long’s were some of our early business men.