WAUKOMIS, Okla. (KFOR) – Richard and ‘Mo’ Anderson grew up in a bustling small town made up of immigrant farmers, and saw its Main Street slowly decline each time they came back for a visit.
“The buildings sat here empty for years,” recalls Richard.
They had some ideas about what to do, but it took a few years to raise the money.
Mo recalls telling her husband years ago, “If I were rich like Warren Buffet, I would buy the whole downtown and create something wonderful.”
Their fortunes made in real estate and development elsewhere, the Andersons turned their attention to their roots.
They built a vacation home that later became the Buffalo Point Bed and Breakfast.
“The projects evolved,” says Richard.
When he got a chance to buy the corner of Euclid and Main Street where the post office used to be he thought, first, that a memorial to his grandfather and other pioneers might me nice.
He also commissioned a big mural for the wall of another building he owned.
Eventually, he bought the whole block.
So, what had been Shorty’s barbershop in Waukomis’ early days, became a new Shorty’s.
Mo points to an old photo hanging on the wall of Shorty Underwood cutting another man’s hair.
“That’s my dad,” she smiles.
The Painted Buffalo Trading Company building was a gun store the last time anyone had a business there. Now, it’s full of made in Oklahoma products.
Mo’s Place is open for breakfast, lunch, or a good, hot latte.
The new chapel next door has already hosted several weddings and parties in the year it’s been open.
At some point along their renovation of the downtown, Richard laughs and says, “I was living her dream.”
Richard and Mo’s dream for Waukomis turned into a mission statement worthy of any successful realtors, to make their hometown a ‘destination of choice’.
The old Waukomis that used to make them sad is disappearing, replaced with something any small town would love, a fresh start, new development, and a pioneering spirit that says anything is possible.
Great State is sponsored by WEOKIE Credit Union