Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Local News

December 10, 2009

Watson store shuts its doors

WATSON — An era ended Wednesday evening, when the FS Fast Stop gas station-convenience store closed.

Clerk Danny Davis said there had been a gas station where Illinois 37 curves for as long as he can remember, or about 60 years.

“We’re going to miss not having it here,” Davis said. “It’s been here forever.”

Davis said the current building was constructed in 1965.

“There was an outside hoist (to work on cars) and a small restaurant at one time,” he said. “It was open 24 hours a day in the 1950s.”

Once operated by the late Virgil Foreman, the station had been in the Keller family for many years. Keidrah Keller McWhorter and husband Chad had operated the station since 1997.

Clerk Christy Taylor, who worked her last morning shift Wednesday, said she’ll miss the ambience at the store.

“The people who drank coffee in here were like my second family,” Taylor said. “It’s the best place I’ve ever worked in my whole life.

“I just loved Chad and Keidrah (McWhorter),” Taylor added. “They were the best people I’ve ever worked for.”

One customer, who declined to be named, said the station will be missed.

“Sure, I’m going to miss it,” she said. “I’ll miss the employees, the fellowship and the friendship.”

In a community that once had a number of retail businesses, the station was the last place in town one could get gas or sit and drink coffee.

Neither Keidrah nor Chad McWhorter were willing to say much about the station’s demise.

“I would just like to go away quietly,” Chad McWhorter said. McWhorter said he will continue to operate the used car lot adjacent to the station.

Watson Village President Duane Sapp said the station’s demise is a bad thing for the village.

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