McCoy-Skaggs Co. Then and Now

200 Military Avenue

The old McCoy-Skaggs showroom on Military has served as a service department for decades and it wasn’t until I accidentally discovered a photo of its predecessor that I became interested in the dealership’s history.

W. T. Hale had been in the real estate business prior to obtaining the Ford agency in Dodge City. The W. T. Hale and Son dealership was located at the northeast corner of Central Avenue and Chestnut Street, directly across from the depot. The dealership was sold to former Cimarron Mayor, Francis M Luther, and William F McCoy at the beginning of 1916. I talked about William F McCoy a bit in my post about McCoy Airport.

The Luther-McCoy Motor Company was located in the Bell garage with frontage on Walnut Street.

Dodge City Kansas Journal, January 27, 1916

Within a year, Luther-McCoy had moved their showroom to the Chestnut Street side. Bell’s entire block was dedicated to various automobile and implement dealers at that time.

Francis Luther died of a stroke in August of 1921 leaving his wife, Camilla, and son, Frank Jr., as partners with McCoy. When the Luthers decided to get out of the business in 1930, McCoy teamed up with Harold M Skaggs.

The Dodge City Journal, January 23, 1930

Julian Parham had died in 1929 but his company lived on and Parham Construction was selected for this project.

The Dodge City Journal, February 6, 1930

The 1926 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map shows a residential neighborhood with frame dwellings at the corner of Military and Avenue A.

It didn’t take long for McCoy-Skaggs to advertise at their new location. Also Ford dealers! I had no idea they sold combines.

The Dodge City Journal, June 19, 1930

You can see why I was so surprised to find this photo! It looks completely different from the building currently located on that corner.

The Dodge City Journal, August 14, 1930

The 1932 Sanborn shows the dealership with a bowling alley, of all things, at the west end.

Fifteen years after the dealership was built, it was destroyed by fire.

The Parsons Sun, September 1, 1945

McCoy-Skaggs moved into temporary quarters at Chestnut Street and Avenue B.

The Dodge City Daily Globe, October 20, 1945

McCoy-Skaggs Company, Inc. was formed on February 4, 1946. I assume the new corporation was formed with Wayne E McCoy as an officer due to William McCoy’s retirement. He would have been about 68 at this time.

This ad from 1947 shows the new building which currently occupies the northeast corner of Military Avenue and Avenue A.

Dodge City’s Diamond Jubilee Souvenir, 1947, published by the Dodge City Chamber of Commerce

The image below more clearly shows the Ford sign previously located on top of the giant pillars. I wonder if the signage went back to Ford or if it ended up in a scrap yard.

The Counselor Dodge City Edition, September 1954

It’s so strange for me to think of Falcon and Comet as their own brands.

Dodge City Daily Globe Special Traveler’s Edition, 1960

Unfortunately, the prediction in this ad was a bit too ambitious.

Dodge City Daily Globe, Kansas Centennial Special Edition, July 1961

The name of the company was changed to Skaggs Motors, Inc. in 1966.

Harold Sr died in July of 1967, leaving H. Milt Skaggs in charge.

Dodge City Daily Globe, 13th Special Travelers’ Edition, 1970

For as long as I can remember, J. Milt was the face of Skaggs Motors. Several new structures were built over the years including a new showroom on the giant lot between Military Avenue and Wyatt Earp Boulevard.

The Hays Daily News, May 8, 2002

Frontier Ford Lincoln Mercury, Inc. was formed on February 3, 2006 and for whatever reason, Skaggs Motors wasn’t officially dissolved until March of 2008.

Frontier Ford’s last annual report was submitted in December of 2009 and the dealership is now Lewis Ford.

Here’s how the building looked the last time I was there:

The biggest change is in the old showroom windows (facing south and west), which would have made the space unbearable during the summer. I believe the interior has been remodeled several times and I love that you can still easily guess its approximate age with just a quick glance.

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