William M. "Bill" Janssen behind counter of Janssen Mercantile
John W. Janssen, being in poor health, retired and sold the store to his son Bill in 1920. Prior to that, John W. and his wife, Anna, also operated a road ranch, feeding and bedding down many a tired travelers. Bill was appointed postmaster and took over the duties that came with running the enterprise, although he did not continue the road ranch operation.
In July 1920, Bill married Hallie A. Warkins, daughter of Charles G. & Jessie O. (BALCOM) Warkins, who homesteaded south of Coalwood. The newlyweds made their home in the 10x10' building that had served as the first store. Later, Bill moved a house up from his homestead and added to it as their family grew. They ran the post office and store, while also farming, ranching, and raising a family of four.
Bill & Hallie's son Lewis also served in the Coalwood Post Office for a time, making three generations of Janssens to fill that position. Today, Lew's daughter-in-law, Lynette, is a relief postmaster at nearby Volborg, Montana, which continues to serve the rural patrons of the area.
Although officially named Janssen Mercantile, the establishment was more simply referred to as "The Coalwood Store". Besides the store, the Coalwood community had several incarnations of a school, a pavilion that grew into a 30x60' hall capable of hosting dances, plays and parties, and the First Congregational Church. Prior to building the house of worship, church-going folks met at the large log home of W.C. Hocking.
Oddly enough, Coalwood did not have a cemetery of its own. Most funerals and burials took place in Mile City; a few in Broadus, 25 miles to the south.
(NOTE: Bob Fudge, subject of Jim Russell's book, "Bob Fudge: Texas trail driver," is buried in Broadus.)