Hatchery story hatches facts
By Carolyn Lee
The Imperial Republican
Several weeks ago The Imperial Republican ran a story concerning the old Whitten Hatchery, opened in Imperial in 1940.
Since then several people have come forward with a few memories of the business, which was first located in the VFW building and later in the building now owned by Don Maucher as Don’s Barber Shop.
Joyce Peterson of McCook wrote that her parents, Vernon and Pearl McMullen, ran the business, while uncle Wallace Whitten owned the building.
Pearl McMullen and Wallace’s wife Alta Whitten were sisters. Their brother Clifford Cameron ran a hatchery in Maywood.
The Whitten Hatchery, which Peterson said was later called the Imperial Hatchery until it closed in 1957, was brought to light when Jan and Rick Elliot found two metal signs in a house they are remodeling at 1127 Broadway.
Peterson said her parents lived in that house until 1985. “We did not know the signs were there when we were cleaning out the house,” she wrote.
The Elliots plan to display the metal signs somewhere in the future. At present they’re located at Prairie States Communications.
Carolyn Wallin of Imperial brought in a pencil given as a promotion by the Imperial Hatchery. At 15 inches long, it reads “It takes a long pencil to show our appreciation.” The business’ telephone number was listed as 119.