Wednesday, November 30, 2011

320-322 Taylor Avenue - The Corner Filling Station

Woodland Park, Columbus, Ohio 
There was a filling station built at the northeast corner of Granville and Taylor Avenue about 1923. The building is still there, but you might never guess it had been a filling station and that that the pumps were lined up parallel to Granville. The current address of the boarded up building is 320 Taylor Avenue.

The 1919 City Directory lists Art's Grill at 320 Taylor and a Kroger grocery store at 322 Taylor Avenue.

More than likely, John M. Knotts, Jr., a "filling station manager" in 1930 was the proprietor of the station. John lived with his family across the street at 1543 Granville. I'm not sure what year John took the gig at the filling station, but before 1921 he was a railroad brakeman and in 1920 the family shared a house with another family on 22nd Street.

The Knotts lived at and rented 1543 from at least 1930 to 1939 and probably earlier and later than that as well. Their rent was $30/month in 1930.

The family consisted of John Madison Knotts, Jr., born in November 15, 1888, his wife Nina Ellen (McCord) born in November 4, 1889, and their children John L. (October 25, 1911), Charles Blair (March 19, 1914) and Eolah Carolyn (January 3, 1916). In 1930, John L. was working as a filling station attendant. John's wife's name is listed differently in almost every reference. Her name on her death certificate is Nina E., and she had a nickname of Dott. There is something lyrical about Dott Knotts. However it seems it was assumed to be a nickname for Dorothy, which in this case, it was not. In a census she is listed at Ella N. but on her birth and marriage record it is Nina Ellen. John and Nina were married in Columbus on December 8, 1910.

The 1938 City Directory lists John M. and wife Nina as as having a confectionery and filling station, 320 Taylor Avenue, residing at 1543. Mrs. Nina Knotts and Eolah are listed as "waiters" at "John M. Knotts" the listing is similar in the 1939 directory, except Nina is now "Dorothy".

1941 Columbus City Directory
In the 1941 Columbus City Directory, Mrs. Dorothy Knotts and her daughter Eolah are proprietors of Knotts' Grill at 320 Taylor Avenue. The address of the filling station, now a Standard Oil brand was 318 Taylor and the manager was John L. Knotts. It looks like the elder Knotts moved to 330 Taylor and their son John stayed on at 1543.

In 1964, Rob Ernie's Market was at 322 Taylor Avenue. In January of that year an armed  male and female robbed the market of $300 in cash and checks and later wrecked the stolen car they were driving at 8934 Parkwood Avenue.

Knotts' Grill later became the Kozy Korner Bar, owned by Sanford Roan who lived at 1614 Richmond Avenue.

Did you know that Standard Oil, better known as Sohio opened the world's first automotive service station in Columbus in June 1913 at the corner of Oak and South Young Streets just one block east of South Fourth?

John M. Jr., died in Columbus on July 27, 1962. Nina Ella died November 17, 1966 at home in Franklin County. John L. died in St. Petersburg, Florida  October 21, 1999. Charles died in Columbus on December 20, 1994, his lifetime occupation was truck driver, and his death certificate lists his industry as "alcoholic beverages" - sounds like he was a beer truck driver to me. Eolah died October 5, 1991 in Lancaster and her occupation was a bookkeeper in a jewelry store.

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