Rosco Michaels leased the new building to Ralph E. Kimport, originally of Kansas. Cash said the building was constructed specifically with Kimport in mind, and in fact, Kimport may have eventually even paid for the building himself after many years of rent. He paid about $175 a month for nearly 30 years, beginning in March 1940. Kimport operated the Kimport Variety Store, which was part of the Ben Franklin franchise. The building is a one-story brick and tile building measuring 25 feet by 106 feet. Construction was done by Warren Julien and Son, according to the News Letter Journal.
“They were a very popular construction company in town. They built the schools and many other businesses in town,” Cash said.
Kimport bought a house just below the old hospital overlooking the town in 1947, where he lived until he died in 1970.
“If it was bad in the winter, he couldn’t drive up that steep hill and he had to walk to work. Good thing it was only a couple blocks!” Cash said.