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Shoe Shine Boy

Current home of Bail Bonds
409 N. Main Street (Block 14)

Denzil “Jigger” Beeler operated Beeler’s Drug Store on the north side of Fourth Street between Washington and Jackson.  As told by Winnett “Doc” Dent, “Drug” was a misnomer.  “Jigger” had everything but.  He had slot machines, he sold liquor and the pinball machines were always banging and beeping.  He also had a small soda fountain, and made great ice creams sodas.  The store was often full of young bloods looking for a good time.  “Jigger” decided to sell this store, and for a time, “Jigger” was not seen in the business district.  Then, he opened a drug store on Highway 19 (Main Street) just across from the Courthouse Square.  This was a “dry” store.  There he sold patented medicines, had a soda fountain, and served light meals at noon.  His friend Stan Sheets took care of much of the cooking detail, and the business men of Salem again could patronize Beeler’s Drug Store.  His store became a favorite of young people as a place to get great sandwiches and listen to continual lively chatter.  Many people still living, recall the great atmosphere at Beeler’s Drug Store.

Where did his nickname “Jigger” come from?  The story most often told is that as a young boy Denzil Beeler was a shoe shine boy in downtown Salem.  One day, after shining a gentlemen’s shoes, he received a rather large tip.  In response to this he did a “jig” dance.  After that, each time he received a nice tip from a client, he would do the “jig” dance and thus was dubbed “The Jigger”.  It was later shortened by his friends to just “Jigger” and it stuck with him throughout his life.  He became a respected citizen of the community and lived in Salem until his passing.

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