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Lamar Thorco Building History

The old Thorco Building that once stood near the entrance to the Lamar City Park is now a thing of the past.
LAMAR, MO.--- Kenneth Howard looks at where the building he once owned stood, what many know as the former Thorco Building. 

"I was in this building for 25 years, so it's dear to my heart and that's when we were really expanding the business and having a good time doing it," said Kenneth Howard, Former Thorco Building Owner. 

According to the Barton County Historical Society, before it became the home for Thorco, the three story stone building was a old mill, the Gulf Roller Mills built in 1884.

"It's sad. The building has so much history," said Howard. 

A man named Frank Thorpe turned the mill, then vacant into the new location for his plant's business around 1930. Eventually, Howard and his partner took over the business.

'We bought the company in '67, Jim Allen, my partner and I. We had 27 employees, and as time went on we kept expanding and expanding," said Howard. 

Frank Lucus was one of his employees. He remembers the first day he started on August 25th, 1956. 

"I really loved working down there because it's kind of the old machinery down there. I was used to that kind of thing from my farm, so I really took to it," said Fank Lucus, Former Thorco Employee. 

He lives right down the street from the former business and has a lot of memories from his time there. 

"Oh yeah, a lot of my buddies we knew every hiding place down there," said Lucus. 

Howard says a lot of people are sad to see the building torn down now. 

"It was built so strong, when you walk through it the beams were large and the stone was large, so it was built to stand for another 100 years," said Howard. 

The owner of the building says he has no plans as of now for the property. He is considering renovating two other buildings on the property that were once office space.

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