FIRMLY FOUNDED MAY 2010
THE HITESHUE BLACKSMITH AND BUGGY SHOP/MEEKERS GARAGE
Just south of the First Financial Bank, next to the Red Onion Café, stands an
unpretentious building that had a substantial impact on the history of Monroe. It has had
enough of an impact where the Monroe Historical Society now has a replica of
the building for sale. Ruth Cast wrote a good history about it in the Monroe
Sesquicentennial book of 1967. What I will share with you is a small part of that story
of a certain family and its impact on the growing of this city. Around 1870, Frank
Wilson had built a buggy factory along Main Street, which was purchased by Calvin
Hiteshue in 1875. Calvin had been born in Maryland, married Leah Straub in 1863, and
came west to Monroe in 1864 as a 19 year old man with his wife and baby daughter.
He had learned the trade of blacksmithing and carriage making as a young man in
Taneytown, Maryland. After purchasing the blacksmith shop, he renamed it the
Hiteshue Buggy Works. It incorporated the blacksmith shop, a paint shop, and a
woodworking shop. In 1881 Hiteshue’s wife, Leah, died, leaving him with a 3 year old
son to raise. The boy, Edward, was sent back to Taneytown, Maryland, to live with an
aunt. In 1896, Edward returned to Monroe, at age 18, to visit his family. Upon his
father’s invitation, he decided to stay and work in the buggy and blacksmith shop with his
father. In 1905 Edward married Ellen Garver. When Calvin Hiteshue died in 1909, the
blacksmith and buggy ship was sold to Peter Neu. Edward Hiteshue bought property at
Elm and Main Streets and built a 2-story brick structure for a new buggy and blacksmith
shop. In 1910, Al Meeker acquired the little building at the corner of Church and Main
Streets. He established an automobile garage, providing all service for automobiles. He
sold new and used cars, pumped gasoline, and did all mechanical work that was required
by the new-fangled contraptions that were known as horseless carriages. Mr Meeker
eventually hired Alfred W Alexander, to do the mechanic work and run the shop.
Al, known by all the locals as “Dosey”, became very popular and Meekers Garage
became a gathering place for locals to get the latest news and gossip of the day.
Originally the automobiles would start their journey, under “Doseys’” guidance, at
the back of the building and, when finished, would come out “all fixed and spiffy”,
through the front garage door, onto Main Street.
The building still stands today and is the home of a sports memorabilia store.