CAROLA LILLIE HARTLEY
Publisher and Contributing Writer
Feature Photograph: Daly Motor Supply Co., Inc. located at 336 East Landry Street in downtown Opelousas in c. 1930s. (Photograph courtesy of Thom and Madeline Daly.)
In 1922, Frank Truman Daly became the area salesman and associate dealer for the Dodge Motor Car Company. In 1924, Daly purchased property on East Landry Street, near the intersection with Walnut Street, and next door to the Episcopal Church, from J. A. Haas, Nathalie Haas and Joseph M. Boagni. He built a service station there to accommodate his growing list of Dodge owners.
When the building was completed at 336 East Landry Street, the motor car company, at that time called St. Landry Motor Car Company, moved in and began serving the Opelousas and St Landry Parish area.
The Dodge service business was complete throughout with a large line of accessories and parts, with expert mechanics in charge. Gasoline, oil and everything that goes with an automobile was sold as well. By 1926 the company name changed to Daly Motor Car Company. That was the beginning of the Daly Motors in Opelousas that many today remember.
In 1930, Daly Motor Company extended its service department when a new building was erected in the rear of the East Landry Street business.
It is interesting to note the Daly Motor Company not only sold cars and trucks, but in 1933 was selling bicycles, and 1935 was the exclusive dealer of the RCA Victor Radios, and in the 1940s, the company was an official dealer for Pittsburgh Paint.
By the 1940s decade, the company was called the Daly Motor Supply Company, Inc. In 1944, after twenty years as an associate dealer for the Dodge/Plymouth corporation, Daly Motor Supply Company, Inc was appointed a direct dealer, serving St. Landry and Evangeline parishes. In the summer of that year, Frank Daly purchased the old Florence House on Union Street, located next to the fire station. In July the old building was demolished to make room for a new Daly Motor Company building. A year later additional property next door was also purchased. In March of 1946, work began on the new $10,000 auto house for the Daly Motor Company on Union Street. In 1948, the company, known as Daly Motors, located at 128 South Union Street in Opelousas.
Daly Motors continued to operate in Opelousas until the 1980s when the business closed.