Every life has a story to tell. The same is true for every building.
The Quincy Senior Center, located on 5th Avenue and F Street, has existed as such for a number of years. Before it was the Senior Center, though, not many people know that the building was once several different things; including a restaurant, a shoe store and even a lodge for the Eagles.
W.E. "Bud" Johnson, the original owner of the building where the Quincy Senior Center currently is located, contributed the building to the city on the condition that it be used strictly as a Senior Center and would be given back to his heirs if ever used otherwise. A covenant in a deed was established by Johnson to the city on Nov. 16, 1973; it states that the building is meant to be occupied and used solely for the Quincy senior citizen's organization.
Built in the early 1950s, the building was originally a restaurant called "the Coffee Cup," owned by Arch and Lil Burger. Mayor Dick Zimbelman, a Quincy native, remembers a dining room and cocktail lounge being added to the building during the time that it was a restaurant.
Leonard Greenwalt, a previous president and board member of the Senior Center, recalled when he made a motion while serving as a member of the city council to not contribute money to the Senior Center under advice from an attorney until after they received a legal contract in order to support the center.
The contract is renewed on an annual basis between the City of Quincy and the Senior Center. The members of the Senior Center were the first ones in the state to come up with a contract to receive money from the city legally.
Ben Garfield, a previous board member at the center, said the seniors first formed their group in the mid-1960's. Helen Dreher said Faye Morris was instrumental in acquiring senior housing in Quincy. Morris, who is considered to be the first director of the center, played an integral role in promoting and establishing it.
In the early 1970's, after the building had been donated by Johnson to the city, the seniors began to meet at the center. The transition to the building was not an easy one, however. Since the building had been vacant, it needed to be cleaned thoroughly before the seniors could move in.
Helen Bepple, a previous Senior center board member, said her late husband Andy helped clean up the building during the late 1960's. Bepple said she has been with the center since it started. Bepple remembered it as having been a shoe store and a lodge for the Eagles club.
In 1979, after the seniors moved into the building, a second addition to the building was made for a recreation room. It was built by the Job Corps team of volunteers from Moses Lake. Doc Bentley, who had been in the Quincy Valley for over 50 years, said he remembered volunteering to help build the recreation room addition to the Senior Center. Bentley, who had been a carpenter for over 60 years, helped finish making improvements to the building after the Job Corps came to build the addition to the east side of the center. Bentley had been an active member of the Senior Center ever since he and his wife joined in the mis-1970's.
In the 1990's, the city paved the parking lot next to the Senior Center and put in new sidewalks. In 1998, an agreement was formed between the City of Quincy and the senior citizens of Quincy. According to the agreement, services such as recreational programs, educational classes, fellowship and meals would be provided for seniors.
In an editorial piece written in the Post-Register in 1973, editor & publisher Don Lindberg said the Senior Center should be named in honor of Johnson's wife, Olyve. In the article, Lindberg wrote, "I think this would be a fitting tribute to Olyve and give the center a bit of personality of a devoted, hard-working woman, who was deeply concerned with the well-being, appearance and development of her community."
While the name was never officially adopted, the Senior Center still honors the commitment to the community and its seniors. The center offers lunches for seniors Mondays & Wednesdays from 11:00-12:30p.m and dinners Tuesdays & Thursdays from 5:00-6:00p.m for $6 dollars per member and $7 dollars for non-members. There is also a brunch held every third Sunday of the month and a church potluck is held on the fifth Sunday of the month. Anyone is welcome to attend.