Museum of Northwest Colorado: Archie Seals — well liked 60 years later
November 25, 2015
Hunting has been the catalyst for many families who have wound up settling in Craig, and the same was true for 37 year-old Archie Seals. Born in Nebraska in 1910, Archie married fellow Nebraskan, Mary McEntree in 1927. Archie was farming when World War II came, and with a houseful of both his own children and orphaned nieces and nephews, Archie was not able to join the service. His service to the war effort came through his agricultural production. German prisoners of war, who were being held in the states, were assigned to Archie to work on the farm during the conflict.
After the war Archie came out to Craig to hunt and to visit his friends, Ora and Bertha Harris, who had previously moved there from Nebraska. Archie fell in love with the area that fall of 1947 and decided it would be a great place for his family to live. Archie's young daughter Shirley (Seely) was attending a one-room schoolhouse at the time, and she recalls she only attended a couple of weeks that fall when her father returned from his hunting trip and packed up the family for the move to their new home in Craig.
Upon his arrival in Craig, Archie went to work for Gearhart's Garage as a mechanic. After a few years he partnered with Lloyd DeuPree to open a Skelly's Filling Station, which was located where Chapman's Automotive Service is today at 310 East Victory Way. After a few more years Archie decided to switch careers, and joined Gene Loyd at his cleaners on Breeze Street.
By 1955, Archie owned Service Cleaners, which offered a one-day cleaning service to the customers. In 1956 cartoonist Chet Klock, came to Craig in to create a six-month series for the local newspaper titled "Familiar Faces" which featured local businessmen. Archie and his wife Mary, both active in their business and the community, caught the attention of the columnist, and he wrote a brief column highlighting Archie and the business.
Archie was active in the Elks, the Knights of Columbus, and also in the Craig Volunteer Fire Department, serving for a time as fire chief, while remaining an avid hunter and fisherman. Archie and Mary raised their six children in Craig, and Archie ran the dry cleaning business until his retirement in the 1970s. Archie passed away in Craig in 1981, at the age of 71, followed by Mary's death in 1991.
Sixty years after Chet Klock wrote his little column about this Craig businessman, Archie is still remembered as a wonderful and quiet man, who treated everyone fairly. His daughter Shirley recalls that though he was not generally outspoken, he did speak out when he felt something needed to be addressed. It through the hard work and integrity of business people like Archie and Mary Seals that a solid business base was built in the Craig community after World War II.
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The Museum of Northwest Colorado in downtown Craig hosts various displays, which highlight our local businessmen and businesses. The museum is currently hosting an exhibit featuring another segment of small business people in our community — local artists and photographers. The exhibit will be up through the end of December. Be sure to stop by the museum and enjoy the work of these local 'business' people who add much to our community through their hard efforts. The museum is open Monday through Saturday and as always, admission is free.
Mary Pat Dunn is the registrar at the Museum of Northwest Colorado.Mary Pat Dunn is the registrar at the Museum of Northwest Colorado.Mary Pat Dunn is the registrar at the Museum of Northwest Colorado.