CHILLICOTHE— In 1947 a man would lease a small gas station in Chillicothe, little did he know that the two-bay station would grow out of several buildings, support his family and see the community around it grow.
Jack’s Tire & Auto Center has done just that.
The company recently celebrated its 75th anniversary and while the original owner died many years ago the business is still family-run by his grandkids.
Clyde “Jack” Barnes leased a two-bay Texaco gas station, aptly named Jack’s Texaco. He worked with his son Charles, who also went by Jack. Charles started helping his father when he was just 13 years old by sweeping, emptying trash and filling up pop machines. After serving in the Army Air Corp, Charles would return to Chillicothe to run the family business that he would eventually purchase after Clyde’s death in 1964.
In 1969 a new building was built for the business and a year later the company expanded again by 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 becoming incorporated. Due to the continued growth of the business, it moved again to the corner of Paint and 8th streets where they are still currently located. Though they moved Jack’s continued operating both stations until 2007 when they decided to rent out the older of the two buildings.
Today the business is run by Troy Miller, who like his father worked at the station from a young age. Miller remembers washing cars and helping pump gas as a teenager. Back then he never expected he would be the one to take over the family business. It wasn’t until 2014 when Charles died that Miller took over.
“Somebody had to take over,” said Miller. “I guess that somebody was me.”
Miller’s mother still owns the business but he and his sister, Debbie Fyffe help run the day-to-day operations. Miller serves as president while Fyffe serves as secretary and treasurer.
As the third generation to work in the station Miller enjoys being able to work with his family. He says it is helpful already knowing the people you are spending your day with and that it is better than working with strangers you just met.
Being in Chillicothe for 75 years means that workers at Jack’s have seen many changes to the area. Miller mentions that he has seen businesses, houses and families come and go. There is no one reason why Jack’s has been in business this long, but workers believe it is due to the quality products and friendly environment they provide to customers.
“We must be doing something right,” said Miller.
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_