This story starts a series on unusual people, who in their times had the talents needed, who mattered to the people of Moravia in some way or another. I will be featuring both early and latter day people. If you have a suggestions for me, call (641) 895-3592.
Art and Janes Fox
My father was very proud of his neighbor, Art Fox. He was proud because Art was the best mechanic in southern Iowa and northern Missouri.
Dad would tell his brothers-in-law present at the time, “You guys are just shade-tree mechanics. Art Fox is the only mechanic in this are who makes sure I can get to Morrells, every day, every week, I have to be there.
Art and Janet Fox were taking a chance on opening a new mechanic business in Moravia. He had been a paid mechanic since he was 14 in 1928. Art was born in a mining camp near Numa. He attended school in the winter months and had a wrench in his hand, working as a mechanic in the summers. Janet was sure they could do it.
Art said, “My father was mechanically inclined and my brothers fixed cars. You might say I cut my eye-teeth on Model Ts and Model As.”
Moving to Moravia in 1946, involved finding housing and buying a building in Moravia to open a business. He worked two years servicing Allis Chalmers equipment. Then, in 1948, the Foxes purchased a former ten pin alley and restaurant at 121 W. Chariton St. in Moravia. Diligently they remodeled the building into an auto repair who. Art Fox Garage would remain 31 years in those quarters.
“Cars have become more complicated, no comparison with the early models like the Model T. The early cars didn’t have filters. If you could drive a Model T for 30,000 over the dirt roads without an overhaul, you were lucky,” said Art.