Worn and weary firefighters battled a blaze throughout Sunday night as Davis Motors burned to the ground.
At 11:03 pm on Sunday, the Syracuse Fire Department was paged. A worker at Eagle saw the flames and called it in. “The whole north side of the shop was already engulfed,” said Fire Chief David Stimatze.
Hamilton County Fire Department was called for assistance as well as Stanton county, Greeley county and Kearny county fire departments who all came to help.
Eagle Convenience store stayed open all night and Q’s corner daylight donuts supplied coffee and donuts.
At 3:00 AM, the south side wall was falling and City Administrator Brian Bloyd used a backhoe to knock it down to get inside to the fire.
As of 6:20 AM Monday morning, the building still had hot spots. The worst was over. Thankfully no one was inside.
Stimatze said, “I just appreciate all the help from the county fire department and the surrounding communities fire departments.”
The humble firefighters would grab a shower, a cup of coffee and most headed to work. The volunteer firefighters receive $20.00 per fire, whether that fire is an hour or all night. They don’t do it for the money. They are family and have a heart for their community.
As Hamilton county citizens woke up to the news, they had a heavy heart for the Davis family and Davis Motors. Grief and tears as people recalled the little antique toys in the window, the Triumph motorcycle and the famous Model T in the showroom, all gone.
Lacy Roberts, Eagle Convenience store manager said, “We were glad to help. That’s what small community is about. I hope people would do the same if it was us.”
The fire marshall was here Tuesday morning going through the rubble working with an ATF agent from Denver, CO, assisting to help determine the cause. It is undetermined at this time. And it will be a while before the investigation is complete. The insurance inspector was also on scene. Nothing from the scene may be touched until this is all complete.
On Monday afternoon, Mark bought office supplies and is setting up in his old office where he sold cars in his youth, across Highway 50 on his used car lot. Phone and internet should be up and Davis will be open for business. However, until they have numbers from the insurance adjuster, specifications from Ford on how they must build, the loss of all his specialty tools and their age all make rebuilding a difficult decision.So Mark and Donna and the community will have to wait to see what will happen.
Davis Motors has been a thriving small business in Syracuse for three generations.
On facebook, John Smith commented, “Bud Smith was standing at the corner on Main street in 1946 when he heard that Davis & Bray were taking orders for new Ford cars. He told me that he took off running, racing another fellow trying to beat each other to the Ford Dealership to put in his order. Everyone wanted a new car after the war as none had been available for years. Dad had a 1929 Model A and a 1940 Chevy. Feb 25, 1946 Dad wrote a check to Davis & Bray for $1097.81 for that new Ford.”
In the June 18th edition of the Syracuse Journal they were featured as business of the week celebrating 76 years in the community.
Mark Davis’s grandfather Ray Davis and Roll Bray formed Davis-Bray Motor Company in 1939. At that time, they would travel to Saint Joe, Mo. to purchase cars, then they would tie them together and head back to Syracuse.
In addition to new and used vehicle sales, Davis Motors is a full-service vehicle maintenance business, excluding body work, and currently have ten employees. They closed down their body shop in the mid 1970’s.
Initially the Ford franchise was Hastings and Lane, named after the late Blythe Lane, and was located in the former Tony & Son’s Body shop. In May 1944, Davis-Bray received the Ford franchise and in 1949 Ray Davis bought out his partner, Roll, making it Davis Motor Company.
Brent Gould built the Davis Motors building in 1949 for his Dodge Plymouth dealership until 1952 when he moved it to Liberal. Ray Davis purchased the building from Gould and it became the home of Davis Motor Company acquiring the Mercury franchise in 1953.
Mark was told the story that on his first birthday around noon, a fire started in the service department from a fuel tank that was pierced by a lift and the pilot light of the steam cleaner ignited the fumes. When it exploded, it blew the showroom doors open and broke several windows, helping provide oxygen for the fire.
The fire was extinguished by the City of Syracuse’s newly purchased 1958 fire truck from Davis Motor Company. That was the first fire fought with the new truck.
Mark has worked hard to be one of the largest generator of retail sales tax in Hamilton County, and also fights to keep our community growing and prospering. “As one prospers, so do we all,” said Mark.
Mark continues to see the good and is grateful no one was hurt.
The Kansas Professional Rodeo Association (KPRA) rodeo has made it’s return to Syracuse after being absent for nearly ten years. The rodeo, sponsored by the Syracuse Saddle Club, was held at the Hamilton County Fairgrounds June 4th and 5th. A hot Friday afternoon cooled... [More]
All of Colorado has been removed from the travel quarantine list! TOPEKA – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) has amended its travel quarantine list to include the countries of Chile, Colombia, Paraguay, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago. Several states... [More]
On a cool cloudy Memorial Day in Hamilton County, the reverence for the fallen was crystal clear. The morning began with Rotarians quietly raising flags at many area homes and businesses. If you drove 14 miles to the west on the two lane highway 50 and a mile north... [More]
“We don’t talk much about what we saw in Vietnam because it was so terrible. Then, when we returned to the United States, Americans didn’t want us back either. They threw urine and feces on us, called us baby killers. We might as well have... [More]
KDHE amends travel quarantine list TOPEKA – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) has amended its travel quarantine list to include Maine, 12 counties in Colorado and the countries of Costa Rica, French Guiana, Georgia, Lithuania and the Netherlands.... [More]
A fatal wreck occured at 1:10 AM on Thursday, May 20, 2021 on K27 South of Syracuse on Milemarker 73 - one mile south of U50 on 27. A Ford F-150 pickup driven by Donovan Seeber, 25, from Syracuse, Kansas, was northbound on K27 and went left of center and collided... [More]
For Immediate Release May 20, 2021 Boil Water Advisory Rescinded for the City of Syracuse, Hamilton County TOPEKA – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) has rescinded a boil water advisory for the City of Syracuse water supply system, located... [More]
It’s National EMS week. Emergency Medical Services are essential in our county. and we are grateful! “We see people at some of the darkest or hardest times in their life and even though some don’t go the way we would like, others do and it is rewarding,... [More]
While rushing to get from here to there, my daughter and I ran out of the house, late again! I yelled for her to hurry up and she was so frazzled that as she put the large orange juice jug back in the refrigerator, she left the lid off and put the bottle back on the shelf laying... [More]
You know that old saying “If you play your cards right?” Every day I play three games of three card solitaire. They say it helps with strengthening your mind. The sequence matters. If I play the first red eight I see and the cards I need are behind the second... [More]
Have you ever felt emotionally paralyzed and not sure how to go forward? Panic inside? Fear of the future or fear of being stuck? The world we live in today has lots of opportunities to think what’s the point? So much is out of our control. So much is scary or heading... [More]
Do you remember the Dr. Seuss story The Sneetches? Two groups of sneetches were identical except one group had stars on their bellies. The other did not and therefore were treated poorly. Those without stars allowed someone else’s view of them to dictate their self worth.... [More]
Stephen King wrote, “We never know which lives we influence, or when, or why.” Who are you influencing? Good or bad, someone is touched by your life. There are people I intentionally try to influence, like my daughter or her friends. And if I have... [More]
My daughter was climbing a tree and fell. She got a big scrape and it hurt. She cried. We cleaned it up with soap and water and went back in the house to relax a little. I tried to comfort her and then pushed her to move forward because focusing on her wound won’t help... [More]
In the movie Big Hero 6, the main character Hiro is coasting and not achieving his potential. Feeling sorry for himself for having lost his parents and directionless, his brother brings him to his college and introduces him to his professor. The professor engages him in conversation... [More]
How do you handle failure? Honestly, I am terrible at it. I spent years with the belief that I was no good versus my decisions were bad. And never once did I see that it was learning experiences. I just saw all the bad and it was mounting. In case no one told you that attitude... [More]
Head coach Steve Navarro said, “The coaching staff has really enjoyed working with this group of kids this year. They have been putting in hard work despite some less than stellar conditions for practice and meets. We are excited to see what they can do now that we are... [More]
Baseball: The Bulldogs faced the Goodland Cowboys at home on Thursday, April 8, losing game one, 2-22 and game two, 1-17. Head Coach Dustin Doze said the Bulldogs really struggled throwing strikes again and they had too many errors. We need to clean things up if we want to... [More]
One year ago, athletes and coaches were beginning practice for their spring sport, some practicing during spring break, others enjoying the break from school. Soon they found out their break was extended a week, some with great joy, others with apprehension. Then came the unfortunate... [More]
Substate began and ended quickly but these Varsity teams left it all out on the court. In heartbreaking last second baskets, our basketball season was over. The boys lost by two points in the last five seconds and the girls lost by three. A wrap up of the season will come in... [More]
The SHS Bulldogs faced the 4-A Holcomb Longhorns for the final home game of the season, with the varsity teams unable to win. The boys will be the number three seed in first sub state match up at home, Monday, March 1, against the number 6 seed, Stanton County. This will be the... [More]
The Syracuse Jr. High basketball season has come to end following the High Plains League Tournament last Saturday. And what a season it was. It began when Head coach Jeff Mathias resigned from basketball due to his wife Tori’s health concerns. “The kids love... [More]
The varsity Bulldogs have finished the annual High Plains League Tournament and now looking toward the rest of the season. They will travel to Johnson to face the Stanton County Trojans Friday, January 29. Junior Varsity boys and girls will play at 3:45, varsity girls... [More]
Syracuse High School varsity basketball teams began the High Plain League Tournament this week. The Monday Tuesday games were hosted by Stanton County and the Thursday, Friday Saturday games will be in Syracuse. According to Athletics Director, Dan Delgado, this is the... [More]
Troy Logan Cartwright, age 60, passed away at his home in Syracuse, Kansas on April 13, 2021. He was born on December 12, 1960 in Tribune, Kansas, the son of Lowell Cartwright and Jan (Peterson) Cartwright. Memorial Services will be held on Saturday, June 26, 2021 at 11:00... [More]
Mass of Christian Burial for Holly, Colorado resident,Salvador Orta Carrillo will be held at 10:00 a.m. and Rosary at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, June 18, 2021, at St. Frances of Rome Catholic Church in Holly, Colorado. Interment will follow in the Holly Cemetery. Visitation... [More]
Funeral Services for Holly, Colorado resident, Ted Sitts will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021, at Valley Memorial Funeral Chapel with Pastor Paul Floyd officiating. Interment will follow in the Holly Cemetery. Visitation for Ted will be held from... [More]
On Wednesday May 26, 2021, Gwendolyn Lucille Woods Reid, Homemaker, Mother of four, Bookkeeper, Golfer, and Civic Leader passionate about education, passed away following a stroke at the age of 90 in Houston Texas. Gwen was born the eldest of 4 on September 11, 1930 to Ruby (Toland)... [More]
Marilyn Jean Schurtz stubbornly went to join her guardian angels on May 28, 2021 - and surely gave them a few choice words on her way through the heavenly gate as they insisted it was time to go. She undoubtedly felt that 92 years was somehow not quite enough time. Born in... [More]
Norman L. Wilson, 75, Overland Park, KS, passed away Sunday, May 23, 2021, at Overland Park Regional Medical Center. Services will be held Friday, May 28, 2021, at Holy Spirit Catholic Church, 11300 West 103rd Street, Overland Park, KS, with Visitation at 10:00 AM and the Memorial... [More]
Mary L. Hart, age 64, formerly of Johnson died Monday, May 17, 2021, at Life Care Center of Colorado Springs in Colorado Springs, Colorado. She was born September 19, 1956, in Jacksonville, Florida, the daughter of J.W. and Lora (Waldren) Mitchell. Mary grew up in Jacksonville.... [More]
Francisco David Bustillos passed away on Sunday, May 16, 2021 at the age of 71, at the Hamilton County Hospital, in Syracuse, Kansas. He was born on July 10, 1949 in Elterreo, Mamiquipa, Mexico the son of Leopoldo Bustillos Perez and Guadalupe Garcia Martinez. David began his... [More]
©2021 The Syracuse Journal. Powered by Pluto Sites.