Darrell Willey


Written Memory


June 27, 2009


Frontier Filling Station - 1730 W. Omaha St.
On the night of June 9th, 1972, I owned and operated a Husky Brand Cut Rate Filling Station and Used Car Lot at the above named address. I was affiliated with Hot Springs Refinery owned by Ted Bonde. He owned his own oil tanker trucks and purchased crude oil in Wyoming, refined it and distributed the gasoline and other products to stations like mine. At the time there were three of us Husky Stations in the Rapid City area, and the last know building is in Box Elder, with the blue and orange stripes. The refinery burnt under mysterious causes in the mid 80’s.
I had approximately fifteen used cars, pick-ups and tractors on the lot, including a completely restored 1927 Model-T Ford Coupe. All were lost in the flood waters, and inside were many valuable antiques of museum quality such as two guns from Custer Battlefield. There were also artifacts such as precious stone and minerals. None of my cars or other vehicles had any insurance of any kind because they were too old to have book value.
My brother Donald and I, along with others, spent many long days after the flood searching for any trace of some of the debris from my business but all we found was the trunk lid to the Model T, which is called the turtle deck. Also the clock which I believe was stuck at 11:38 pm.I still have the South Dakota title to the Model T along with pictures taken on the car lot prior to June 9th, 1972.
Michael Dennis, son of Carol and Brenda Dennis who owned Trader’s Corner on Canyon Lake Drive, was trapped on my car lot and witnessed the Salvation Army Captain drown when the water overcame his vehicle. Also, the bartender from the Alibi Bar next door, spent the night in the rain on a large billboard that was on my land, until he managed to break out a second story window to gain access to the small green house just East of my car lot. His name was Liebig.

Darrell Willey




“Darrell Willey,” Flood of 1972, accessed August 17, 2022, https://1972flood.omeka.net/items/show/611.