Local Family Histories
'Working to preserve the rich heritage of the Temecula Valley'
Biography of Clayton Erdel
by Loretta Barnett - 2002
    Clayton Erdel and his wife Nadine moved to California from Mexico, Missouri during World War II., with their 3 children , Loretta, Bruce and Dianne. Clayton worked for North American Avation, and helped build the Mustang P-51 airplane.

   The family stayed with Nora Dooley, Nadine's grandmother, on W. 22nd Street in Los Angeles.

   After the War, the family moved to Murrieta, and Clayton rented a shop/garage behind the old Hamilton home. There he worked on autos. Around 1947, Clayton bought the Chevron Gas Station/garage on the corner of Jefferson and Ivy. He purchased the station from Max Thompson for $500.00. The Chevron gas station faces Ivy Street, and is now a Nursery.

   The station was originally built in the mid 1930's. A photo of Marvin Curran's, dated 1938, shows that it was a Richfield gas station/garage owned by Daniel Ray Campbell. Then became a Shell gas station, and eventually a Chevron gas station. Various owner/operators during that period.

   Nadine worked in the gas station, pumping gas, washing car windows, etc and occasionally doing a lube job. Clayton did the same, plus the big jobs. They always closed the station on Mondays. Bought parts in Elsinore and Riverside. Usually took in a movie on Monday nights. Bruce , their son also worked in the station during his High School years.

   There were no environmental controls in those days. Oil was dumped in the back, on the ground, and later stored in barrels for someone to come in a recycle. Often, that meant taking the oil up the Tenaja grade to cover the roads to control the dust.

   The 3 children went to school in the 3 room school located on 2nd street.

   Loretta remembers the promotional items that were given to motorist. Sometimes it was glass ware, other times it was prints. Being on the main highway, 395, often motorist would stop and ask directions on how to get to Tee-mah-cool-uh. That always gave them a chuckle.

   Around 1962, Clayton moved his business to a Texaco gas station/garage on the corner of Scott Rd. and highway 395. There was a Chubs Restaurant next door. When the I-215 was widened, he moved his business to Romoland, where he did automotive repairs. Later, he rented a space on Bradley, and did mostly carburator work.

   After Clayton left the Murrieta location, Marvin Curran took over the gas station until around 1967, when it closed permanently as a gas station.