Man, you never know what you’re going to find when you scrape the Mississippi River mud off an old glass. I had intended this to be a quick nostalgia piece about the days when you got all kinds of giveaways when you filled your gas tank.
Little did I know that it would let me discover something about my family that I never knew.
A search hint
Here’s a little hint if you want to search The Missourian’s archives. In this particular instance, I typed “DX service station” in the search box. (The quote marks means return that exact value, not every story with the words “service” or “station” in them.) Then, when I hovered over the SEARCH button, I waited until choices came up, then selected “Archive since 1918,” which will return the most results. (That’s a hint from Missourian librarian Sharon Sanders who has a blog of her own.)
Above is what came up. Click on the photos to make them large enough to read.
Employed by Steinhoff DX Service Station?
My eye went straight to the last entry: “…employed by the Steinhoff DX Service Station.” What the heck is that?
The link took me to an October 4, 1945, war brief about two soldier sons of Mr. and Mrs. Walter Lacy who had been serving since 1944. The story said Pfc. Donald Lacy, a graduate of Central High School, was employed by the Steinhoff D-X Service Station on Broadway before his induction in October, 1944.
That’s the first I had ever heard of such a station. This is one of those times when I wish I could ask Dad or Mother for background info.
Bill Wescoat station at Broadway and Perry
The next story I checked was a brief from July 18, 1940: “Workmen have started to build a concrete drive and areaway at the Bill Wescoat D-X service station at Broadway and Perry avenue. Also a lubrication and washroom is to be built on the west side of the station and adjoining it. Westcoat is building the annex and the Midcontinent Petroleum Corp. is making the driveway.”
The station at the far right of this wreck photo taken in the mid-60s is probably that station, although it was a Texaco here.
H.H. Steinhoff, Proprietor
I struck paydirt with this March 29, 1946, ad. H.H. Steinhoff was listed as proprietor of Steinhoff’s D-X Service at 1700 Broadway. H.H. was Hubert Steinhoff, my dad’s brother.
1700 Broadway is the intersection of Broadway and Perry avenue mentioned in the 1940 story.
Hubert – Uncle Hu we called him – was the “funny uncle,” and not the kind that the family keeps locked in the attic. He was a jolly guy, always ready to fool around with us boys.
He particularly enjoyed giving us presents that would drive my parents crazy (until they came to a agreement that live animals and toys that made loud noises were not appropriate gifts). I don’t claim to be a snappy dresser, but I AM happy that I didn’t follow in Uncle Hu’s sartorial footsteps.
I don’t know how long he was associated with the service station. When I knew him, he was working for an asphalt company in Illinois. I was always impressed that his car had one of those long, low-band two-way radio antennas that went “twanga-twanga-twanga” when you came to a sudden stop.
Our monogrammed glasses
I don’t know where the glass came from that started this search, but it appears that it DOES have our family initial on it.