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When city hall was a Ford dealership

POSTED: August 7, 2014 3:17 p.m.
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J. Hilton Kight

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In May 1962, H.N. Ramsey Sr. retired from the business he established in 1921. Under the name H.N. Ramsey Motor Company, Inc., three new stockholders were added to the business. The three who joined in four equal partnerships with Jack E. Ramsey Sr. were J. Hilton Kight, C. Murray Kight and Eustace Ford.

Jack became general manager. Hilton’s duties included service and management. Murray was over the Sinclair business, appliances and management. Eustace was over parts and management. Their combined experience in the automotive field totaled 81 years.

The business was a Ford dealership. The appliance department handled sales and service of all General Electric appliances, large and small. The Sinclair marketing department handled a complete line of Sinclair products, including oil and gasoline, for home and business.

An advertisement in the May 4, 1962 issue of the Springfield Herald lists Myrtice Dotson as bookkeeper. Watson Boyles, Barney L. Perkins and Kenneth Rahn worked in the service area. Harry G. Griner and Milton Weitman handled delivery of Sinclair products. The used car lot occupied the block south of the motor company.

In 1963 under the partnership, Springfield Auto Parts opened with Eustace Ford managing this separate store a few blocks north on Laurel.

In June 1968, Jack Ramsey retired and sold the business. It became Kight Ford and continued to operate the Ford dealership and Springfield Auto Parts. A brick façade was added to the building.

In 1968, Eustace became sole proprietor of Springfield Auto Parts, and Hilton and Murray became co-owners of Kight Ford.

The Kights sold the Ford dealership to Hans Mahn in 1985, who established Springfield Ford in the same location. Mahn left Springfield, moving Springfield Ford to Rincon in 1994.

The city of Springfield purchased the building in August 1995 and established the offices of City Hall and the Springfield Police Department. The building established in 1907 is fully utilized today as the hub for the city’s business.

This was written by Susan Exley of Historic Effingham Society. If you have photos, comments or information to share, contact her at 754-6681 or hesheraldexley@aol.com.

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