CHILLICOTHE – In 1947, a man rented a small gas station in Chillicothe, little did he know the two-bay station would grow from multiple buildings, support his family and see the community around it grow.
Jack’s Tire & Auto Center did just that.
The business recently celebrated its 75th anniversary and although the original owner passed away many years ago, the business is still run by his grandchildren.
Clyde “Jack” Barnes rented a two-bay Texaco gas station, aptly named Jack’s Texaco. He worked with his son Charles, who also went through Jack. Charles started helping his father when he was just 13 years old by sweeping, emptying trash cans and refilling pop dispensers. After serving in the Army Air Corp, Charles would return to Chillicothe to run the family business which he would eventually purchase after Clyde’s death in 1964.
In 1969 a new building was constructed for the company and a year later the company expanded again adding a 3-bay self-service car wash behind the new building. The business would become Jack’s Tire and Auto Center in 1974 after being incorporated. Due to the continued growth of the business, it moved again to the corner of Paint and 8th Street, where it still is today. Although they moved, Jack continued to operate both stations until 2007 when they decided to lease the older of the two buildings.
Today, the company is run by Troy Miller, who, like his father, worked at the station from an early age. Miller remembers washing cars and helping pump gas as a teenager. At the time, he didn’t expect him to be the one to take over the family business. It wasn’t until 2014, when Charles passed away, that Miller took over.
“Somebody had to take over,” Miller said. “I guess someone was me.”
Miller’s mother still owns the business, but he and his sister, Debbie Fyffe, help run day-to-day operations. Miller is president while Fyffe is secretary and treasurer.
As the third generation to work at the station, Miller enjoys being able to work with his family. He says it’s helpful to already know the people you’re spending your day with and it’s better than working with strangers you’ve just met.
Being in Chillicothe for 75 years means Jack’s workers have seen many changes in the area. Miller says he’s seen businesses, homes, and families come and go. There’s no single reason Jack’s has been in business for so long, but employees believe it’s because of the quality products and friendly environment they offer customers.
“We have to do something right,” Miller said.
To learn more about Jack’s Tire & Auto Center, you can visit their website.
Shelby Reeves is a reporter for the Chillicothe Gazette. You can email her at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @Shelby_Reeves_