Early in the year 1894, J. T. Wallar came to Marceline and purchased the Burch Grocery Store located at the southwest corner of Kansas Avenue and Howell Streets.
Mr. Wallar soon brought his family here, consisting of Mrs. Wallar, two sons, Stephen and Samuel, and two daughters, Elizabeth and Florence.
The two sons became partners in the business and in a short time, Johnny Ficklin, a loyal and wholesome young man, came into the store as clerk and solicitor and remained with the company until the store was sold in the late twenties.
In the fall of 1894 a disastrous fire which started in the photograph studio on the second floor, destroyed the building and contents. Dr. Cater, who owned the building, began rebuilding at once and in due time the Wallars were in business again.
All was well until 1900 when a fire in the drug store of Allen & Blincoe next door, south of Wallar’s, burned and the whole building went again. After this disaster, the Wallars bought the dry goods store of one L. J. Hall, added groceries, and were in business again. In a short time it was evident they must move as the owner of the building asked for possession. At this time the Wallar Company bought the building now occupied by Mattinglys and conducted a prosperous business there many years.
The Wallars originally came from Ohio, arriving in southwest Missouri in 1875. From there they came to Linn County and established their home on the corner of Ritchie Avenue and Chestnut Street. In 1907 the old house was removed to make way for a new and more modern residence. The two survivors of the family, Mrs. Luther Hardaway and Mrs. Claud Buchanan, reside in this home.