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.

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