I frequent the Ben Franklin Store in Park Rapids… otherwise known as “the dime store” or “the five and dime” although nothing is a dime anymore. They have paper and paints, yarn and who knows what all. I was looking for some small Christmas containers for cookies for the cookie exchange. I got some there last year. I hate going to Wally World…maybe I will stop by the new Dollar Store where everything is supposed to be a dollar. There are buildings sitting empty around town..yet they build new. Go figure.
It has been a Ben Franklin for a good long time. Back when Norman and Gladys Fulton had the store it was a Ben Franklin. A classmate and next door neighbor of Far Guys probably would have inherited the store. Norm and Gladys had no children, they took Danny under their wing as much as they could…sadly he was killed in a car accident in 1970.
You can barely see the name on the Fulton Bldg…but it is still there.
Norman was an only child born in 1914 , his mother was Belle J.Sobles Fulton Schmider and his father was the famous Fred Fulton Heavyweight Boxer. Lena Fulton helped raise Norman…she was his stepmother…she married Fred in 1939 but they must have lived together for some time. Lena was 18 years older than Fred and 67 years old when they married. There must be more to that story…and it must have caused many tongues to wag about town.
There are lots of stories about Fred Fulton…some not so pretty…did he throw some fights or “take a dive” as some report? He must have. He had quite a temper and hit his brother once…there was a law suit. He bought White City Resort in Park Rapids and ran it successfully for many years. There was a supper club and a dance pavilion out over the water in the late 1920’s and 1930’s. You had to pass by the drinking place known as “The Bloody Bucket” on your way out there.
Far Guy remembers seeing Fred Fulton around town and having to look up up up! Fred was 6 feet 6 1/2 inches tall.
Back when I was the Director at the museum, I ran onto an old packet full of papers and old photos of Fred Fulton. With the help of volunteer Tess we organized everything in Acid Free sleeves and put them all in a three ring binder. History which someone may want to look at someday.