The historic Wichita Feed Store, which recently celebrated its 80th birthday, started when Wichita Falls, Texas pioneer Johann Laukhuf loaned twenty dollars to his grandson Ike Krottinger in 1932. The business held its birthday party on the sidewalks of downtown Wichita Falls, Texas recently near its location at 301 Indiana Street.
Current owner Lynda Krottinger spent the morning visiting with people about the history of the feed store and her late parents Ira “Ike” and Gale Krottinger.
Ira was only 17 when he started the business with the loan from grandfather Johann Laukhuf. While the Krottingers built the feed store into a successful enterprise, the Laukhufs have also served the community well.
The Laukhuf family has been busy enriching Wichita Falls area since that day when Johann Laukhuf made that fateful loan which would launch one of the most thriving businesses in Wichita Falls.
William Laukhuf went on to farm the land adjacent to Jacksboro Highway and Rathgeber Road for many decades before selling part of it for a speedway. Desendants of this family still farm some of the land owned originally by the Laukhuf and Thorman families that were combined through marrigae of the two families. Glenn Thorman and his sons farm some of that land successfully today.
Edward Laukhuf Lane, son of Willam Laukhuf, started several churches in Wichita Falls which are still in existence including Emmanuel Baptist Church on Loop II and First Baptist Church of Lakeside City. He served as pastor for 27 years at Emmanuel Baptist Church and fifteen years at Lakeside City. He later served as pastor of Shasta Baptist Church in the City View Addition of Wichita Falls for many years. He majored in Bible studies at Baylor University in Waco, Texas before earning a graduate degree from Golden Gate Seminary in San Francisco, California.
Prior to serving as a preacher, he was a farmer in Wichita County and served as a chaplain in the United States Air Force.
After the death of his first wife, William Laukhuf married Lilly White, whose family began the White’s Auto Stores empire which stretched across Texas under the direction of Erle White.
Erle White began and led the Beacon Insurance Company for many years.
The Krottinger, Laukhuf, and Thorman families are all an important part of the history of Wichita Falls business and represent the success of hard working families that made Wichita Falls a thriving city in which to live.
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