Thursday, October 8, 2009
This week I want to write about a business that has been in town for some 66 years and run by one family and that is Crouch's. I remember going up to Crouch's when it was up on 2nd East and 1st North. It Is where Payson Auto Care is located now. It was run by Roy Crouch and his two sons, Bud and Lon.
I can remember thinking what good looking men they all were. They had a small station and also some cabins they rented out. It was a small place but did a big business. At the same time they bought another small station where they are today. The first Crouch's Ok Junior was actually on the property closest to Fat Jack's Pizza where the office of the old motel still stands at 80 South 100 West.
This was all in 1943. They ran both businesses and in the early 1950's they built the current Crouch's along with the motel. The eight cabin motelwas stillrunning in the late 1960's but with the completion of the I-15 freeway, tourists by-passed Payson so the focus was then put on the automotive service and the motels were shut down.
Crouch's Service about 1956
Bud and Lon ran the businesses and Roy and his wife Leona were still a big part of it even years later taking care of the motel and keeping the books. Lon left the business several years later and moved to Wyoming.
They sold the old business on 100 North to Royce Hermansen and it then became known as Royce's. They lived in the house there on the property for a number of years and then moved to a new home a couple of blocks away.
In1981 Bud turned the business over to his three sons: Gary, Joel, Roy and son-in--law Blake Ryan. Roy left in `1985 to run Fat Jack's Pizza, now Roy's Pizza and Social Hall in Ephraim.
I always loved to go to Crouch's. They gave such good service. Those were the days they would run out and pump your gas for you, check you oil, wash your windows and check your tires. FULL SERVICE. I miss that. I often think of Duane Hiatt (of the 3 D's) saying in one of his talks that the most excitement kids got in Payson was to go to Crouch's and jump on the rubber line to make it ding. The way the workers knew someone was at the pumps was when cars would run over the line and it would ring.
In 1989 after over 40 years of pumping gas the decision was made to pull out the gas pumps because of new regulations and the high cost of upgrading and just concentrate on car repair. The service station was opened 7 days a week from6 a.m. to 10 p.m. and only closed on Christmas Day. They began closing on Sunday in the early 70's and then Saturdays around the year 2000.
This has truly been a family business. All of their sons have been employed there at one time or another and all the bookkeeping has always been done by members of the family.
I miss the days of the full service stations but it surely is fun to think back and remember when....