"The Most Authentic General Store Around"
HaysTen Mile Store
It is nearly impossible to go into all of the detailed history of the Ten Mile area. This will be a continued "work in progress," and it should be noted that the store does house a history book of the area. This can be viewed at the store for people wishing to do research. It should also be noted that many stories are added when people come in and reminisce about days gone by at the store.
The name Ten Mile
One of the most asked questions is where Ten Mile got its' name. It should be known that Ten Mile was not always called Ten Mile. It began as a town to the east called La Porte, a french name translating to gateway or doorway. The first post office was called Ten Mile. This could have been named after Ten Mile Creek (named because of it being 10 miles long), or because the post office was around 10 miles from Macon and Clarence.
As time progressed the town moved more westward toward the present intersection of route DD, K, and AA. During its height Ten Mile had 10 homes, 2 general stores, 1 Methodist Church, 1 school, 1 blacksmith, 1 wagon maker, 1 hotel, 1 cooper, 3 physicians, 1 lawyer, and 2 carpenter.
When the present store location started is still unknown. We do know that the store was burned to the ground in 1902 by a man on horseback with two lanterns. The motive is still unknown. Nonetheless, a new store (the present store) was built in 1902. Unfortunatly it looked as the store would have a short life due to finances. Between 1902-1946 the store had 57 different owners. The Belt family continued to run the store throughout WWII per Perry Hays' request (keep in mind during the war running a store was very difficult due to rationing, paperwork, and government red tape). Perry wished to buy the store once his term of service was complete.
In 1946 Perry Hays purchased the store and would continue to run it for over 50 years. At the store you could buy any type of grocery goods to any type of farm supply. In 1964 Perry added a building containing 6 tounge and groove stalls capable of holding 600 ton of fertilizer. In 1966 he began selling anhydrous ammonia. In 1969 Perry ordered his first 100 hog huts or porta-a-huts. Perry was given distributorship of southern Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Tennessee, and southern Illinois. As of 1996 Perry had sold 64,616 port-a-huts. If you owned a port-a-hut then you have a connection to the Ten Mile history. In 1975 the Hays family discontinued the grocery portion of their business. During this time they sold off excess inventory. It was a 4 day auction with 4 auctioneers. They did continue to carry farm related goods until the late 1990's.
The store was bought from the Hays family in 2009 by Wade and Megan King. The store has again transformed into a bustling business where all types of goods can be bought. Each year new types of inventory are added to the store and each year the customers bless us with their patronage and support ensuring the longevity of one of the last surviving operating general stores in the nation.
Pitch (Cutthroat Pitch)
We could not tell the story of Ten Mile without speaking of the card playing. Every since anyone can remember their has been a game of pitch being played at the store. The game is 7-point and currently a group of men come in around 11-1 play (except on Saturday's and Sunday's). So, if you happen to be by the Ten Mile area around lunch, stop in and play for a bit.