New Owners of Historic Downtown Fort Scott Building

Ed and Susan Townley with their daughters from left Cheyanne Griffin, Dani Townley, and Ella Townley. They are pictured in the storefront before the task of decorating the space for the holidays.

Ed Townley, Olathe, has purchased the former Books and Grannies store at 11 N. Main, in Fort Scott’s Historic Downtown.

“I bought it with ideas in mind, but that is ever-changing,” Townley said. “At the current moment, I may finish remodeling and rent it out for a few years.”

Local realtor, Barb Albright with H and H Agency, handled the sale of the building to the family.

“I bought rental houses and recently sold those and I always wanted a business downtown,” he said.

“I have lifelong friends from Fort Scott,” he said. “Jerome Mitzner and Brian Love, along with Al Metcalf.”

He and his wife, Susan, own an independent insurance adjuster business, he said.

“We have a side business of antiques in Johnson County,” Townley said.

They are looking forward to moving to Fort Scott, although at this point it won’t be until his youngest daughter graduates, and she is currently in the eighth grade, he said.


The overwhelming amount of books in the former bookstore were consolidated and sold to a company.

“The fastest and easiest way to liquidate the books was to have a company do it,” he said.

Then he had a clean slate to see what he purchased.

What he purchased at 11 N. Main was 1700 square feet with doors to both Main Street and Skubitiz Plaza.

“The front and back doors are appealing,” he said.

Townley has repainted the original ceiling tiles, is working on new flooring and a restroom will be added.

The family worked on a Christmas display on November 6 to spruce up the storefront for the upcoming annual holiday shopping event on November 11-13, sponsored by the Fort Scott Chamber of Commerce and businesses.

The storefront at 11 N. Main has been decorated for Christmas by the Townley family.
The storefront that the Townley family created includes a fireplace with Christmas stockings and a Christmas tree with presents.

“We did a vintage Christmas display, to give (the storefront) a little personality,” Townley said.

Following the completion of work on the first floor, the family has the upstairs to renovate.

There is an apartment on the second floor that is the whole length of the store and the family has a goal of making that into a living space, he said.

Townley shows off a working jukebox purchased from Fort Scottian Bill Michaud, which was at the former Kress Building down the street on Main.



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