Charles Robert (Bob) Kohley – was born on Feb. 8, 1891. We don’t have much information on his early life. The first location of his garage was originally behind the Massey hotel where there is now a parking lot (where the Dari-O was later located). Their newer building was located at 206 N. W. A St. and was a joint venture of Mr. Kohley, Mr. Howard and Walter Sherrick, who operated a machine shop in part of the building for years.
The brick to build the building came from a building that was torn down to make room for the Benton County Courthouse. The building sat at the south corner of the property the courthouse sits on.
On Sept. 15, 1926, Bob Kohley opened a garage with Ira Howard, and the garage was called the H&K Garage. In those days, the most popular cars to work on were the Model T Fords but there was a variety of other cars ranging from the Pierce Arrow to the Whippet. It was fun trying to find parts for all these different cars. With all the wealthy people who visited Bella Vista in its heyday, they brought all different kinds of brands into the H&K Garage. Bob Kohley bought out his partner in the 1930’s. Over time Mr. Kohley brought his sons Everett and Kenneth Kohley into the business. Bob operated the business until 1956 when he decided to retire, turning the business over to his sons.
Although Mr. Kohley retired in 1956 he didn’t stay away long. He tried wandering the streets and tried the fishing thing. One day he showed back up at the shop, commenting that the retirement thing was “the hardest work I’ve ever done.” Soon he was showing up at the garage every day. On April 12, 1965, Bob Kohley passed away and was buried in the Bentonville Cemetery. In 1967 the old H&K garage (Kohley Garage) was torn down to make room for the Mid Town shopping Center.