It's an end of an era in Clinton, Iowa.

The Smith Brothers General Store, at the corner of South 4th Street and Highway 30, is set to be demolished.

It seems like everyone has a story from their childhood about going into Smith Brothers.  A particularly fond memory of mine was finding the abnormally large selection of joke items.

Items Actually Purchased with my Allowance at Smith Brothers

  • Spicy Gum (hot tasting gum)
  • Snap Gum (gum that had a mouse trap contraption)
  • Shock Gum (there was a lot of gum humor in the 80's)
  • Whoopie Cushions
  • Fly in the Fake Ice Cube
  • Fart Spray

I could go on and on about how much joy that small part of the store gave me as a youngster.

Passing the Fart Torch

I was able to share this great store with my children.  You'd walk in the heavy front door and the floors would creak like it was meant as a tracking device.  Right under the counter and to the right was the wall of jokes that my children sifted through with wild visions of tricking their mom or grandmother.

They Had Everything

  • Canteens
  • Movie Posters
  • Candy
  • Hammers
  • Vinyl Records
  • Ceramic Gifts
  • Appliances
  • Ashtrays
  • Colanders

According to the Clinton Herald, "The business was closed after a brick fell from the exterior of the building Sept. 16, 2020. The city soon declared the building structurally unsound, condemned it, and presented owner Steve Smith with options to either repair the building or demolish it. City officials said last week that Smith has decided to demolish the structure.

It's a shame.  Stores like that were probably a dime a dozen in the 60s but as time went on more and more closed down.  It was a relic that was cherished by many and will be missed.

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