Our Town Tuscola: Antique shop owner does it all

Local News

TUSCOLA, Ill. (WCIA) — Retirement might sound nice, but one woman is proof working hard is even better.

Sandra Decker started at the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office more than 30 years ago. She currently works as the administrative assistant.

“I do all the paperwork, the bookwork, the filing, the reports. I’ve done every job in the building. I’ve been the cook, I’ve done corrections work, I’ve done it all. Through the years you just fill in,” she says.

In 2004, Decker was named interim sheriff. She served as the first-ever female sheriff in Douglas County for eight months.

“My big claim to fame would be that we got a medical program for the inmates put in at that time. We’re still using the same program to this day,” she says.

Decker had a lot of accomplishments to her name when it was time to retire, but she decided she wasn’t done just yet. She’s still with the office, and she also drove around the corner and took over an antique shop, aptly named Paddy Wagon Antiques.

“Fourteen years ago, I decided this would be a nice retirement project and, of course I haven’t retired yet, but it’s a nice project,” says Decker.

Decker’s in the shop before and after working at the sheriff’s office, and all weekend. She works with 40 dealers, bringing in collectibles, antiques and primitives. She says it wasn’t a huge surprise when she bought the business.

“Somebody else had the shop so I started out as a dealer. My dad got me interested in it. My mother threw things away because she wanted new things. My dad was a collector, so he kept things for me.”

What’s the best part of owning the shop?

“Meeting the people. Meeting the people that come in. They’re all really nice. And it’s fun to see where they come from, and to find the different antiques. We go on buying trips,” says Decker.

For more about the business, you can search Paddy Wagon Antiques on Facebook. The business is on Route 36 in town.

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