Clark Mumaw Marks 50 Years in Business

One of the men who knows Warsaw and its people best is Clark Mumaw, shown here, veteran news dealer, who celebrates his 50th anniversary in business next Tuesday, Sept. 2. (Photo by Blosser from microfilm)

In the span of half a century Mumaw has watched the town double in size, acquire paved streets and many new industries. 

In 1902, when Mumaw first went into business for himself, hitching racks lined the courthouse square.  Instead of gasoline stations the town was full of livery stables and blacksmith shops where horses were shod.  Telephones were just coming into common use for business houses and the idea of flying through the air was as theoretical as a trip to the moon is at present.

In those days the agency for Chicago papers was handled by young George Fowler whose family ran the White House hotel where the Burr store is now.  A dozen boys sold the old Inter-Ocean, the Record Herald, and others on the streets.

When Mumaw bought out George Fowler he kept the stand in the hotel for about two years.  Speck Ettinger, lifelong friend and favorite customer recently showed Mumaw a 1903 Warsaw city directory containing this ad:  "White House News Stand, 113 and 115 East Center street, all the metropolitan dailies and periodicals delivered to all parts of the city, Clark W. Mumaw, proprietor, Telephone 106."  At that time the magazine stock included 25 or 30 publications.  Nowadays Mumaw handles 500.

Moves Store
He moved the agency into the old building on Shane's corner now the site of the Judd drug store.  Erected in 1854, Henry Shane had a grocery store there from 1863 until Jodey Sparks and Mr. Goble took it over for a barber shop.

Business picked up as the town grew, streets were paved and the Winona interurban line was built.  In 1909 five years later, Mumaw moved back to the old hotel which by this time had become the interurban depot.  His store occupied the west side of the large waiting room.

When the Centennial block, built by McDonald and Widaman, replaced replaced the old Huffer livery barn and a Chinese laundry on the corner, Clark transferred to the new building along with the railroad headquarters.  He kept the same location for 16 years then spent 13 years in the Stephenson building down the block.  In 1945 he moved his agency to the Mallers room, now the Western auto store, but stayed there only 17 months before setting up business in his present location on North Buffalo street.  His moving days are over, apparently because Mr. and Mrs. Mumaw bought the building a year ago.

Quits Wholesaling
For a long time Mumaw carried on a wholesale enterprise in addition to his store.  Roy Cassel was manager in charge of distribution throughout the county and surrounding area.  Mumaw sold the wholesale agency five or six years ago to W. P. Ramsey of Argonne road.

Reminiscing about the past Clark recalls when dramatic and musical projects were a major part of Warsaw's social life. He sang baritone in numerous choirs and quartets for 35 years or more and played "Pooh Bah" in an ambitious production of "The Mikado" which scored a tremendous success.  Probably his favorite dramatic role was that of an elderly miner in the play "Uncle Reub", although his part as a French court in another show as great fun, too.

Likes Sports
Clark's interest in sports started yearly and is still very keen.  He keeps in the store a picture of the 1905 Warsaw high school team that won the state high school championship by defeating Sheridan High of Indianapolis.

Listed under the photo are the names of Coach Brennan and the players who included Fred Trish, right halfback, Dick Wilcox, quarterback, Walter Bartol, right end, Cloice Hatfield, left tackle and Herbert McCleary, left half.

In those days each school provided one referee.  Clark worked that memorable game which ended with a score of 6-5.  He also umpired a lot of baseball before the advent of softball.

Surveying the changes in his magazine and newspaper wares Clark stated that a flood of comic books, perhaps 250 different ones, weekly and monthly have taken the place of the old Nick Carter dime novels.  Decades ago types like true detective and confession magazines weren't even dreamed of.  The development of photography as a hobby, movies, radio and television created a vast magazine market.  In recent years sales of pocket book editions of classics, westerns and mysteries have grown enormously.

Operating a news agency has always meant long working days for Clark.  He appreciates having a good staff whose capability allows him to spend fewer hours on the job in recent years.  He's always on duty from mid-afternoon through evening with the others carrying on the rest of the time.  They are Mrs. T. W. (Florence) Rudd, who has worked at Mumaw's seven and one-half years, Eldon Brallier, three years and Earl Ruihley, high school student and part-time worker the past two and one-half years.

Warsaw Times Union, Saturday August 30, 1952

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