Part 2 of "What Piru Has" from Piru News Circa 1930
Piru in 1929 with the Mission Inn on Center Street at the intersection of Telegraph Road next to the Piru Garage on the north side of the street. Photos Courtesy Fillmore Historical Museum.
Piru in 1929 with the Mission Inn on Center Street at the intersection of Telegraph Road next to the Piru Garage on the north side of the street. Photos Courtesy Fillmore Historical Museum.

Courtesy Fillmore Historical Museum

In 1930, the Piru News ran a series of articles entitled, “What Piru Has….” The paper described the series as “a series of weekly articles describing the various industries, products, organizations, schools, business houses of Piru and vicinity.” Two of the articles addressed the businesses that were in Piru. Below is the second of the two articles.
You can read more of the Piru News at

Piru News, Volume IV, Number 41, 20 November 1930
The United Mercantile store is a branch of a Fillmore concern of the same name. Here it had its origin in the Ventura County Cooperative association, organized by W. G. Cornelius and Hugh Warring and which for a time operated three stores in this district.

George Alltis is the present store manager. A general line of dry goods, clothing, notions, shoes, groceries, paints and hardware is sold.

What is now the United Mercantile store was started more than a quarter of a century ago by W G. Cornelius and Hugh Warring.
Cornelius explains that after the Piru Land and Oil company bought the interests of David C. Cook here, a general merchandising store was started by the company with W. H. Fleet as manager.

Then Cornelius and Warring, who already operated a store at Buckhorn, came into Piru and launched a general store and butcher shop. Fleet sold his interests in the company store to a firm called La Point and Lawrence.

A price cutting war ensued between the two stores with Cornelius and Warring meeting the competition with even lower prices until finally such a method was deemed folly and La Point and Lawrence sold their store to Cornelius and Waning.

Lacking funds sufficient to carry on the new owners organized the Ventura Cooperative association with twenty-five members paid up at $l00 each. Cornelius acted as store manager.

The enterprise proved highly successful and it expanded and opened a branch at Fillmore after buying the stores of George Tighe at Fillmore and Sespe. Many new members were then taken into the association from Piru. Fillmore and Bardsdale.

In later years and under new management the concern was incorporated, and it became the present United Mercantile company.

The Pioneer Market which recently was purchased from A. Nelson by Clays and Nary and which later was bought by Clays and Clays, sells all kinds of fresh and alt meats and vegetables and ice. Mr. and Mrs. Clays owned the market some four years before it was sold to Nelson.

Belty’s Barbershop, R O Belty claims to have been operating a place of business longer than any other person in Piru. He has been in the barber business here for 31 years. Belty has three pool tables, two barbershops and sells candy, cigars, hair tonics, etc.

The Mission Inn operated by Mr. and Mrs. B. A. Clough is located on Center street at the Intersection of Telegraph road in its own building. The Cloughs were proprietors first nine years ago and then were out a year They returned in January of this year. Four years ago, the owners doubled the size of the building. Short orders, meals, soil drinks, candies and cigars may be obtained here.

The cook is Miss Lillian Davis and Miss Elizabeth Wagener is the present waitress.

Next down the street Is the Piru Garage operated by J. P. “Slim'’ Davis, handling Standard and Edington gasoline, Willard batteries and doing a general auto repair Davis has been in the garage business there for two and one-half years. The garage is headquarters for the Piru volunteer fire department, the apparatus being housed there gratis.

Ruiz' Barbershop: For three years G. T. Ruiz has been conducting a pool room, barber shop, soft drink place and card tables in a building belonging to the Eastside Brewing company. Tobaccos, cigars and candies also are sold there.

Highway Market: A general line of groceries, meats vegetables, fresh fruits and nuts are sold at the Highway Market, of which Clyde E. Spencer is the proprietor. A real estate and insurance business is also conducted in this store. Spencer, who formerly was the local bank manager, has considerable trade from motorists as well as townspeople living in that section of town. He takes a pride in keeping his store looking ''shipshape" and clean.

The Bowdle and Bowdle service station is 100 per cent Richfield in gasoline and oils. Tires and various auto accessories also are sold there. Five cabins for tourists are operated in connection with the service station and during the tourist season a rood business is done in rentals. The Piru dance hall is situated on the Bowdle property. This structure is 40 x 80 feet in dimension.

Across the bridge from Bowdle's a gasoline station was installed this summer and is operated by Tom Dominguez.

Harry’s Lunch: "T-Bone" Harry Ridenbaugh conducts a restaurant at the intersection of Telegraph road and Center street. Meals and short orders, soft drinks and ice cream products are sold here.

Opposite Harry’s lunch is Stewart's Garage, oil station, and machine shop. The proprietors are Albert and his father, A. J Stewart. General automobile repair work is done here.

The Ramona Garage which soon is to be the home of the Piru Ford automobile agency in a new building now under construction. is conducted at the Telegraph road and Main street intersection by James and Ace Wallace, brothers. This is another 100 per cent Richfield station.

In addition to doing a general repair business, soft drinks, candies, tobaccos and oranges are sold here.

Tate's Garage: On the dairy road south of town, Oliver Tate does a gasoline, oil and automobile repair business at a place known as Tate's garage.

La Victoria Store is a Mexican chain store is situated on Main street doing business in a general line of groceries.

One of the latest additions to the business section is a physician’s office which was opened a few months ago by Dr. Hart D. Wilson, a young man who came here after serving his internship in an Oakland hospital.

For twenty years William Chessani has had a shoe repair and harness shop in Piru His shop is now on Center street. He formerly conducted the business in a room at his home.