The Company Store

One of the first and largest stores in Marceline was called the Marceline Mercantile and Supply Company, but was also known as the “Company Store.” It was a grocery and dry goods store owned by the Coal Company. The company store was located in this building from the founding of Marceline in 1888 until about 1907. It was built for the convenience of the coal miners, who could buy clothing, groceries, and almost anything a family might need.

Miners could purchase items on credit and the store would keep a paper record of what was owed. When payday came, whatever amount was owed was taken out of the miner’s wages.

Also, in the early days of coal mining, a substitute form of money called “scrip” was issued by a Coal Company to pay its employees. Scrip could only be used to buy items in stores owned by the Coal Company. In some cases, the scrip was provided to the coal miner as a form of credit if the miner’s money ran short, to be paid back on payday.

When this building was constructed, it had 2 stories. The first floor was the Company Store and the second floor had sleeping rooms for railroaders. In the 1930s lightning struck this building. There was a fire and the second floor had to be removed.

After the Company Store ceased operation, an auto company bought the building. There has been a car dealership on this spot for almost 100 years.