Cowtown Yoostabes, Corner Edition: Neighborhood Grocery Stores (Part 2)

Here are some more buildings (see Part 1) that yoostabe neighborhood grocery stores. (At the bottom of this post is a city directory listing of retail grocers in Fort Worth in 1920.)

richmond-at-mayThe corner of West Richmond Avenue and May Street on the near South Side was typical of the golden age of neighborhood grocery stores.: It had more than one grocery store.

richmond-29-cdAt 402 West Richmond was the grocery store of G. H. Williams. Across the street at 407 West Richmond was the grocery store of Mark R. Livesay.

richmond-402-west402 West Richmond Avenue.

richmond-402-west-1927In this ad listing four hundred Fort Worth grocers who sold Ko-Pa no-caffeine beverage in 1927, I have enlarged the listing of G. H. Williams.

richmond-407-westAcross the street is 407 West Richmond Avenue.

richmond-407-livesay-1929Mark R. Livesay sold Kirk’s Original Cocoa Hardware Castile Soap in 1929. So did the stores of Clarence Saunders. Saunders had founded the Piggly Wiggly chain but by 1929 was head of a competing chain.

grocery helpy selfy vickeryThis 1927 building at 2673 East Vickery Boulevard made a career of housing grocery stores. First it was one of Jack Long’s Helpy Selfy stores, then an A&P, a Safeway, and Lee’s Food Market. (Update: This building has been demolished.)

In Fairmount at 1209 West Myrtle Street the front of W. H. Anderson’s store has been restored.

This is the front before restoration.

The new signage reads ” W. U.,” but all newspaper ads and city directory listings are “W. H.”

Other grocery stores listed in this 1931 ad are S. S. Dillow, Turner & Dingee, and Helpy Selfy.

Mrs. Pauline Harlow operated a grocery at 2460 East Rosedale Street across from Sycamore Park.

Mrs. Harlow sold Topp Cola, which appealed to budget-minded youngsters because a bottle contained sixteen ounces for the same price as the ten-ounce soda pops.

watsonstore2Typical of neighborhood grocery stores was the Watson family store on Fitzhugh Street in Poly. This article appeared in the Fort Worth Press in 1964. (Clip from Sherry Newman Mallory.)

The building that housed the Watson store, which survived from 1918 into the 1960s, is gone now. But these buildings survive:

safeway on rosedale 57In 1957 this building at 2918 East Rosedale Street was Safeway store no. 325.

grocery piggly wiggly college1930 pigglyIn 1930 half of the Old Home Supply building on College Avenue in Fairmount, as the ghost sign shows, was Piggly Wiggly store no. 15.

On the near East Side, this building on the corner of Tennessee Avenue at 1201 East Leuda was built about 1911. It long ago lost its face: awning, windows, door.

But almost a century ago Adolph Schilder operated a grocery store in that building. It continued to be a grocery store into the 1930s. Next door lived ex-slave Hattie Cole.

grocery 614 nw 22 1930 bolesIn the 1930s this was the neighborhood grocery of A. B. Boles on Northwest 22nd Street on the North Side. A false front on an old wooden building such as this one is an indication that the building once housed a business. The name of the business was printed in large letters at the top.

4704 bryceOn the West Side the building that today houses Carter Bowden Antiques at 4704 Bryce Avenue at Camp Bowie Boulevard was Donley & Walker Grocery & Variety Store in the 1920s and 1930s.

grocery bransoms thrifty withitaBransom’s Thrifty Supermarket on Wichita Street near Oaklawn Elementary School.

grocery nashvilleOn Nashville Avenue at Avenue B across from Meissner Funeral Home, this was an F&M Food Market.

grocery mitchell villageAt Mitchell and East Berry streets, the Village Food Mart is now a church.

grocery a.l. davis berryOn East Berry Street, this was an A. L. Davis supermarket.

Here are three more from a time when people went to the corner market, not the Central Market:

corner markets(Top) Another false-front building. William Peavler opened a grocery store across from D. McRae Elementary School at the corner of Millet and Bishop streets in 1920 in a building dating to 1915. It is now a residence.

(Center) John Beckelman ran his grocery store on Little Street from 1932 to 1953. He lived next door.

(Bottom) W. R. Hester, among others, ran a grocery store across Alston Avenue from Daggett Elementary School in a building dating to 1922. In 1923 the grocery store in that building was owned by Samuel J. Sammons, a Confederate veteran.

yoostabe collupIts footprint looks tiny now, considering the treasures it once held. This is the foundation of William B. Collup’s grocery and market at the corner of Bishop Street and Avenue N, across the street from D. McRae Elementary School.

collupThe writing on the left wall is: “W.B. Collup Gro. & Mkt./Ernest McGhee/and His Showband/Coming Soon.” Ernest McGhee is a veteran local musician. (Photo from Tarrant County Historic Resources Survey.)

yoostabe cards

They tell me that Collup’s sold groceries. But many of us boys knew Collup’s as the nearest fix for our addiction: baseball cards. I diverted all my lunch money from the cafeteria at D. McRae to the cash register of Collup’s for six years, buying baseball cards (and that gum you could shingle a roof with). I graduated weighing only eighty-seven pounds, but by God and Gehrig, I had me a genuine Mickey Mantle card! Of course, for every Mickey Mantle I unwrapped, I unwrapped seventy Joe Nuxhalls.

Neighborhood grocery stores are largely history now. But some of the buildings where they yoostabe remain, reminding us of a time when doctors made house calls, drugstores had soda fountains, gas stations were full-service, and heroes batted cleanup in Yankee Stadium.

Below is the 1920 city directory listing of neighborhood grocery stores in Fort Worth. These stores were overwhelmingly mom-and-pop operations. There was only one national chain: Piggly Wiggly had three stores, and they were in residential neighborhoods and small in comparison with today’s chain stores. The other two companies with more than one store in 1920—Turner & Dingee and Sandegard—were locally owned.


More posts on grocery stores:
Cowtown Yoostabes: Five of a Kind and a Sole Owner of My Name
Cowtown Yoostabes: Jack Long Helped Those Who Helped Themselves

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