I Buy Anything CompanyCharles "C.C." Kelder (-1970)


Non Extant


2210 Messanie Street, St. Joseph, Missouri, 64501


circa 1960s

About the Artist/Site

Charles C. (C.C.) Kelder built the elaborate facade of I Buy Anything Company, a resale shop, over the course of seven months. Ornamental ironwork which arched across the top of the store’s garage was salvaged from a demolished building in downtown St. Joseph, Missouri, near to where Kelder sold his wares. In an article published by the Kansas City Star on May 16, 1965, Kelder claimed to have incorporated a rock from every state into the mosaic facade. On a business card for the shop, Kelder advertised that he “bought what no one else would buy,” which included “antiques, furniture, dishes, and all kinds of junk.” Kelder stored thousands of items in his ornate warehouse, even purportedly selling and buying back the key to the city of St. Joseph on several occasions. He claimed that “Safeway stores and Salvation Army were the worst grift in the country.” In addition to running the store and building its elaborate facade, C.C. Kelder created a giant ball of twine weighing 1,050 pounds, which was eventually donated to the Patee House Museum and documented in Ripley’s Believe It or Not. In 1965, Kelder also claimed to have caught the largest frog in the United States, weighing 5 pounds and 13 ounces.

Also going by the nickname “I Buy,” Kelder ran I Buy Anything Co. with his wife Cleo until his death in 1970. C.C. and Cleo had married on June 23, 1939 and raised two children, Curtis and Cindi. Cleo assisted C.C. with shop duties prior to his passing, and continued running the shop for a number of years after 1970. The I Buy Anything Company building was located at 2210 Messanie Street, St. Joseph, MO 64501, and is no longer extant.

Narrative by Gabrielle Christiansen, 2023


  • Charles C. Kelder, untitled article. Kansas City Star, May 16, 1965.
  • “Cleo Kelder turns 100.” News-Press Now, April 28, 2013.
  • Business card created by Charles Kelder, date unknown. SPACES Archives,
    Sheboygan, WI. Originally donated by Gregg Blasdel.


bas relief fragments, rocks, coral, found objects

SPACES Archives Holdings

1 folder: images

Map & Site Information

2210 Messanie Street
St. Joseph, Missouri, 64501
Latitude/Longitude: 39.7621788 / -94.8333243

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