New ownership equal new lease on life for Monger Bros store

Mike ErwinJournal-Capital

Monger Bros. Auto Supply Store just got a new lease on its 92-year life.

And, it could not have happened at a better time.

The longtime local auto parts store — which opened for business in 1924 — was preparing to close Thursday.

Joe and Sherry Breedlove, owners of Hominy Auto Parts, reached an agreement to purchase the store late last week.

“We’ll be here until July 15,” said the current Monger Bros. owner Nancy Woodyard. “I’m thrilled to death that they’re going to keep the store open.”

The Breedloves, who purchased the Hominy store in 2010, said they had been looking for an opportunity to expand their operations. They were initially interested only in the store’s inventory. Like their Hominy location, Monger Bros. is affiliated with NAPA.

According to Woodyard, the couple eventually decided to purchase the Pawhuska store “lock, stock and barrel.”

“We just didn’t want to see it (Monger Bros.) close,” Breedlove said. “We’re looking forward to having a second location — and hope to some day have a third.”

Joe Breedlove recently retired from the U.S. Navy, for the second time, he said, explaining that he was a fighter pilot for 22 years before his first retirement, and served as a training officer until retiring a second time.

“Monger Bros. has been a staple there and we want to keep it that way,” Sherry Breedlove added.

The Breedloves intend to add Bad Boy Mowers at the Pawhuska site, just as they have in Hominy. They also plan to have an auto mechanic at the site. The new owners are expecting to retain the Monger Bros. name in Pawhuska.

Woodyard had originally planned to close the store at the end of February. Later, she said “unanticipated business considerations” kept the store open through March. Although April and May extensions followed, she said time was running out in June.

“They are coming in with a good plan,” Woodyard said. “I expect them to do well.”

Woodyard bought the business from Odell and Eileen Monger in September 2003. Floyd Monger, Odell’s father, had originally opened the store in partnership with his brother, Milo, at 714 N. Kihekah — where Weigant’s Pharmacy is now located.

Floyd and Milo Monger arrived in Pawhuska in 1923. A year later, they used $2,000 they had borrowed from their father, as well as their bonus money from World War I, to open as a battery and electrical service business.

The move to the Monger Bros. building, 301 W. Main St. occurred in 1932. Previously, it had served as an automotive dealership. And, before that, a livery stable was operating there.