Where we've been...
Picture : June 2021
The Waudby building is on the National Register for its distinctive characteristic of Victorian-era commercial buildings. The Northwestern Colony from Ripon, Wisconsin founded the city of Russell in 1873. The Waudby Building No. 1 was constructed in 1885-86 using limestone, iron trim for doors and windows, brick and large glass windows. The Victorian design of the building gave a new look to Russell's Main Street.
The buildings located at 719 & 713 N. Main Street gives the appearance of being one building. W.E. Banks was the original owner of the original Waudby building, this established the "The Square Hardware Store" which opened in1886. In December of 1888, a fire started in the basement of the building and it assumed that much of the building was destroyed. In 1889, W.E. Banks, A.C. Gear and WM. Greer reopened the building and it was used by agricultural implements, hand printing shop, grocery store and offices. In 1896, the building was listed as Post Office. J.W. Blair paid the taxes in 1924-1925. Blair built a furniture store north of 719 N. Main Street so the building was used for commercial trade.
The second story was the home of the I.O.O.F. (Independent Order of the Odd Fellows) No. 119 Hall in the early years of the building and meetings were held there. According to "The Russell Record," May 6,1920, they were the oldest secret order in Russell. Oil was discovered in Russell County in 1923 and this changed the social and economic structure of the county. Oilfield workers were looking for recreation in their spare time. To meet this need, in 1926, Alfred Waudby purchased the building at 719 N. Main Street. A pool hall was established in the building in 1926. Alfred sold the business to CHester Roberts and LEster Ingram for a period of two years, 1935-1937. It remained a pool hall during this period of time using Brunswick equipment. Alfred and his son Francis reopened the pool hall business in May 1937 and the business remained until the death of Francis in 1985. Of artistic significance are two scenic murals painted inside of the building. One mural depicts a mountain scene with a lake in sprint and summer and the other a winter scene. A transient painter named "Gesser," painted the murals in 1930. Rick Rupp restored the murals in 2004. No structural changes were made to the building. It remains today as much as it was in the early part of the 20th century.
It is not certain when the upper level became living quarters. Chester Waudby and his wife lived in the apartment in the 1930's and ran a beauty shop in the premises. Chester Waudby lived in the apartment unitil 1987 even after the passing of his wife in 1967. The property could not be sold until the passing of Chester's pet pigeon. It was fed and lived in the building for several years upon its death, Chester eventually sold the building to RIchard Cross on April 16,1987.
The history and design of one of Russell's early day buildings will be preserved for future generations. Generations of Russell residents remember the building as Waudby's Pool Hall.
Where we are now!
Waudby's is locally owned and operated by Shanda and Brent Mooney who are very involved in every aspect of the business. Don't be surprised if you stop in and see them and any of their three kids running around and helping out. "We take pride in supplying not only our Russell community with a place to bring their family and enjoy their time with us, but serve as a rest stop to those traveling along I-70."
The Mooney's have owned Waudby's for twelve years now. Shanda was a part of Waudby's history long before she bought the business. In her younger years she was a server who people loved to come see with her quirky and exciting personality. After going to Bethany College where she studied criminal justice, she found her way back home and invested in the development of Russell and what the community had to offer. Waudby's has grown exponentially in the last twelve years because Shanda and Brent are committed to expanding and investing in Russell's downtown and making all our visitors experience memorable and where you can BRING your family and FEEL like family.
While in years past, Waudby's consumed only one part of the historical buildings, in 2019 business proved we needed more space, so we have since cut a hole in the wall to connect both buildings where we have more seating for families and friends! We really have a "the more the merrier" mentality and want to include your whole crew! Whether it's stopping for supper after a long day on the road or coming down to watch a big game on one of our projector screens, we invite you to come visit our Waud-Squad and enjoy a relaxing and enjoyable experience.