Let’s Talk Clovis: 1957 Clovis Business Directory

By Peg Bos, Clovis Museum

The 1957 Clovis Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. (Photo courtesy of Clovis Museum)

We are sharing information published in 1957 by the Clovis Chamber of Commerce that was “Dedicated to the Education and Religious Upbringing of our Children.”

Emil Prudek, barber-rancher, was President of the Chamber and James Hallowell, Chevrolet car dealer, was Vice President. The directors were Doug Dresser (rancher, 1958 Clovis Mayor), H.R. “Slim” Beaver (saddle maker), Carl McDonald (insurance agent, 1966 Clovis Mayor), Joe Chaffe (banker) and Kelly Parks (rancher).

The Directory published a letter dated April 30, 1956 from President Dwight D. Eisenhower for “The magnificent Centennial Saddle that you have sent me to commemorate Fresno County’s Centennial Year is, at the moment, being much admired in my office. I am grateful to you, to Ray Beaver and his father Mr. H.R. Beaver, and to all the members of the Clovis Chamber of Commerce for presenting me, through Senators Knowland and Kuchel, with such a handsome saddle.”

A Fresno State College full page ad stated: “A wonderful neighbor of Clovis” and pictures of their buildings. The administration building: “This building handles the affairs of almost 6,000 students (now 33,198) and hundreds of faculty members and employees.”

The Clovis Cash Grocery (Clovis Bad Boy) advertisement displayed Loris Grossi (always a booster of Clovis) and their store windows “plastered” with special prices: fancy solid coast cabbage 2 cents a pound; Hormel’s all meat franks 35 cents per pound; CAL best pan ready fryers 42 cents per pound and Maxwell quality coffee 89 cents.

The Clovis Union High School (William t. Atkin, Superintendent) ad: “The most modern high school in Fresno County serving almost 2,000 students from a 202 square mile area, operating 18 school-owned buses (CUSD now 51 regular routes and 60 special routes). Just completing construction of eight new classrooms and a new cafeteria.”

A total of 15 Clovis churches were listed with the headline of “Let’s go to Church on Sabbath Morning.” Three church pictures were published.

The 1902 First Baptist Church on the northeast corner of Fourth and Dewitt was destroyed by fire in 1945. The congregation worshiped in the Seventh Day Adventist Church on Woodworth and Second until 1947 when they moved a building from Parks Air Force Base in Alameda County near Dublin that became their sanctuary. The Grace Baptist congregation is now located there.

Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church built in 1913 corner of DeWitt and Eighth was replaced in 1983. The 1913 church was moved to 406 Bullard Ave. The First Congregational Church purchased the church but due to financial problems defaulted on their loan. The historic church was torn down in 1990.

The Memorial Methodist Church, which arrived in Clovis in 1893 on the southwest corner of Fifth and Woodworth, pictured their 1920 church building. The Methodist congregation relocated in 1963 to Scott and Pollasky. The Crossover Church of God now worships at the 1920 sanctuary.

We share a few businesses that were listed in the classification section: Cocktail-Lounges: Ping’s Knott Inn, 428 Clovis Ave.; Jim’s Place, 430 Clovis Ave.; Joe’s Cocktail Lounge, 450 Clovis Ave.; 500 Hundred Club, 500 Clovis Ave.; Dee’s Place, 532 Clovis Ave.; Skyline Club, Shaw and Clovis Avenue; Johnnie’s & Norma’s Club, 748 Pollasky and Jimbo’s, 673 E. Herndon Ave.

Clothing: Beaver Saddle Shop, 434 Clovis Ave.; Cornet 5-10-25, southwest corner of Fourth and Pollasky; Cosby’s Dept. Store, northeast corner of Fourth and Pollasky; Belle Quinn, 433 Pollasky, Sassano’s 448 Pollasky; Rasco’s Variety Store, 445 Pollasky and Mode O’Day, 617 Fourth.

Fruit Shippers: Clovis Fruit Co., Minnewawa and Herndon; Lamanuzzi & Pantaleo, Shaw and Clovis Ave.; Earl Smittcamp, 8054 N. Minnewawa and United Packing Co., Hughes and Fifth.

Grocery Stores: Bond’s Market, 756 Pollasky; Buy Rite Market, Bullard & Clovis Ave.; Wood’s Grocery, Bullard and DeWitt; Clovis Cash, 618 Fourth; Gong’s Market, 460 Pollasky; Hoke’s Country Store, Tollhouse and Sunnyside; Mid-Way Grocery, Third and Sunnyside; Peacock Market, 029 Tollhouse Rd., Phil’s Ranch Market, 1321 Clovis Ave.; Ray’s Market, 1321 Clovis Ave. and Valla’s Market, 353 Pollasky.

Ad by the Clovis Memorial District: C.S. Merriman, President; Directors, Virgil Roullard, R.H. Rose, Robert Burgess and Earl Smittcamp; Rex Phebus Supt. of Recreation.

“Serving the Clovis High School District and nine elementary school districts. The modern town hall of today. The meeting place of most Civic, Social and Community organizations. Activities for small fry from first grade through High School. Movies, basketball, boxing, and dancing are just a few of the activities.”

The population of Clovis (the Friendly City) in 1955 was 3,766. The merchants and families of 1957 are part of our rich heritage.

Peg Bos is the president of the Clovis Museum on 4th and Pollasky avenues in Old Town Clovis. She not only manages the museum but she also writes her Let's Talk Clovis column in our publication which features and highlight the amazing history of our city and culture. One fun fact about Peg Bos, she was the first female mayor of Clovis from 1984-86.