Source: News-Journal, August 16, 1973 Centennial Section

Western Auto Observes 35th Anniversary

Western Auto is observing its 35th anniversary in North Manchester this year.

The business opened in September, 1938, in the west half of the present building. It was owned by John Snyder, no relation to the present Snyder families in town, and managed by Ralph Bagott.

Bagott came to North Manchester from Cincinnati where he was associated with Western Auto. His job there was to help with the opening of new stores. When John Snyder decided to open a store in North Manchester he offered Bagott the manager's job which was accepted.

Bagott managed the store until he was called to the service in 1943. While he was gone his wife, Elsie, managed the store. After the war Bagott returned to North Manchester and purchased the business from Snyder.

Some of the prices from the 1938 catalog include push mowers for $4.98, toasters 89¢, auto batters $2.79 and standard bicycles for $19.99.

The Bagotts operated out of one building until 1965 when they doubled their space by purchasing the building to the east. A new front was added and the interior wall petitions removed.

Western Auto started as a catalog store in Kansas in 1909. Today's Western Auto stores still have the catalog service available with freight prepaid.

Bagott's Western Auto carries a complete line of auto items including brake shoes, oil filters, oil, lights, wiring, air filters, batteries and hundreds of other parts.

A wide selection of children's toys, bicycles, sporting goods, lawn mowers, garden supplies and other items is also available.

Source: Aurora (1940) Ad:

Every Article in Our Store is Guaranteed
"Satisfaction or Money Back"
Western Auto Associate Store
John A. Snyder, Owner

Source: Aurora (1949) Ad:

Western Auto Associate Store

Original Western Auto Store Sign at Pudge Egolf Auction, November 2011

Western Auto Store Sign, North Manchester