Extracted from Summer 2012 The 66 News article “2012 Hall of Fame Inductees”
Quinn Service Station, Bloomington, Illinois/Quinn Family: Elmo A., Eldon A., Elmo C., and Eula Quinn
Nominated by Larry and Sheryl Brown, Fran Turgeon, Dave Sullivan, and Melodee Bielfeldt
The Quinn family has operated a gas station in downtown Bloomington for over 70 years. October 15, 2011, marked the 70th anniversary of the business. Service to customers has always been the trademark of the Quinn Station. This station has been on the original alignment of SBI 4 and Route 66 and served the traveling public for parts of eight decades.
Historic Route 66 has always passed the door of this service station. When the station was first opened it was operated as a Texaco station from 1941 to 1985. It opened for business run by brothers Elmo A. Quinn and Eldon A. Quinn. In 1976 Elmo C. and Eldon A. retired, and Elmo and Eula Quinn took it over. In 1985 it became a Shell Station as it continues today with Elmo and Eula Quinn still providing full service pumps for the many loyal customers of this family business. The”full service” continues today with
washing windows and checking engine fluids, as well as stories and directions for travelers and locals alike. Their business was so strong that this establishment even survived being closed for several months in the late 1980s for State required fuel tank replacements and pump upgrades that caused many other service stations to close permanently.
The Quinn’s customer base continues steady as many children who grew up going to the gas station with their parents continue to patronize Quinn’s station as adults. Time has passed and Elmo no longer operates the two mechanic bays but still spends 80 hours a week greeting his customers, washing windshields, catching up on customer’s families and news, and taking care of business. Elmo works a 6 day workweek, at least 13 hours a day.
His wife, Eula, assists him with his business. Eula and Elmo have known each other since 5th grade but didn’t start dating until after high school. Elmo lovingly calls her his “meals on wheels.” They have been married 48 years.
Additional Information (not from original article)
Shell: 1985-closing (2013)
Before and after images of the Quinn Service Station – unfortunately, the building no longer exists