As of Tuesday, February 20, 2018
DALLAS — Jan. 31 marked the end of a long era for Dallas and the Crider family.
That’s the date the deed to the last property — the old grocery store at 121 SW Oak St. — was transferred out of the long-standing Dallas family’s ownership.
Jack Crider, who grew up in Dallas but now lives in New Mexico and works as the CEO of Entranosa Water & Wastewater Association, said the sale was bittersweet.
“It’s the end of the estate,” he said.
Crider had been the caretaker of the property for years, and after the last tenant, Dallas Mini Mart, moved out in 2015, it has been difficult to maintain the property. He decided to sell the building and made long commutes to prepare the property for sale.
“I spent a lot of time and a lot of effort cleaning it out,” he said. “I had probably 50 years of tenant stuff in the attic upstairs, and I even had records from the 1920s and ’30s that were left up there.”
All the grocery store equipment was removed, along with decades of paperwork and items that collected in storage spaces in the two-story structure, built in 1910.
“I think that there were 14 30-yard containers of material pulled out of there, plus the equipment, so it was quite the undertaking,” he said. “It took me years to get through it all.”
Through many of those years, he was living in Eureka, Calif., where he was the Humboldt Bay Harbor district director. He drove seven hours to Dallas, worked for two or three days and then drove seven hours back. For that reason, Crider is happy to have the transfer complete.
The building was sold to Terra Quest LLC from Salem, according to Polk County Assessor records. Crider said he wasn’t sure what the plans are for the building.
“They were pretty tight lipped about what they were doing,” he said. “I think it was an investment that they made.”
Crider said at one time his family owned the former grocery store building, another building constructed in 1875, an apartment complex and 40 single-family homes.
He has fond memories of spending time in his family’s stores.
“It was a general store, and we had all kinds of stuff. As a kid, I remember being upstairs in the toy department playing with the toys and getting yelled at by my grandfather,” Crider recalled. “I remember the big deal when my father remodeled the one building and put in the grocery store. It was all brand new, and my sisters were pushing me around inside a shopping cart.”
He said the store, whether his family operated it or leased it to a tenant, has been an asset.
“It’s been a good store, good karma in that store. Something that’s that old, you always think there might be a ghost or something, but no, I never got scared at all,” Crider said. “Selling it was like killing the golden goose because it was a good revenue producer for us for a long, long time.”
A sign posted on the building following the sale, and since taken down, thanked the Dallas community for its decades of support of the Crider family.
However conflicting his feelings are about selling the old store, Crider said his visits to his hometown will be a lot more relaxing now that he isn’t responsible for the store.
“At least now when I come back to Dallas to see friends and dead relatives, I don’t have to work, too,” Crider said.