|Greenfield In The 1930's|
|The following article was written by Bill Collins and published in the Times-Gazette in 1999, as part of the community's bicentennial celebration.|
father, Ab Collins, and mother, Ada, moved to Greenfield from Hillsboro
in 1931. Ab was employed as a meat cutter in Wise's Meat Market
until 1933 when he and Ed Preston started their own market — Preston, the grocer, and Ab, the meat man. The market was later destroyed in the big fire of 1937.
period, Greenfield was a village of independent businesses,
made up of 27 grocery stores that included Casper's, C.W. Thompson, Henry Rowe, Preston's,
Walt's, Davis', John Horn's, Home, Wise's, Jamar's, Hamilton's, A and P,
Rooks', Clyburn's, West End, South
Street, Moon's, Griffith's, Wolf s, Allen's and Francis'. Most of
these markets delivered to the people's homes twice a day either alone
or with the help of Wayne Mitchell's delivery service. Quite a
difference from today!
Similarly, our downtown had six barber shops. There was Jacob Zinnecker with his two sons, George and Charlie; Clarence Fetherlin and his sons Wendell and Wylie; Aron Spargur, Fred Wagner at the Harper Hotel with Fred Fox; Barber's Barber Shop; and William Wilson's, who was located on South Street. Several of these barber shops had bath tubs partitioned off so privacy was enjoyed while you bathed.
this time, at least 50 percent
of their business was
for shaves, and many of them had shoe shining chairs.
The late Winston Price shined them up at Fetherlin's, and the
Zinneckers used their nephew, Richard Kelley, and later Charles Bainter.
John Wagner helped out at his
dad's hotel shop, and
Rice Payne would shine
shoes on holidays and Sunday mornings
in front of Wise's. All of
them were very busy, and
on Saturdays you would have
to wait in line to have your shoes shined a
cost of 10 cents.
In the 1930s Greenfield had three drug stores. Cox's, located in Midway and Washington Streets, had an ice cream store that operated in the summer months as well as its regular fountain service. (The store was later destroyed in the fire of '37.) Hurd's Drug Store was located on Jefferson Street, and it later became Stewart's. This, too, had an ice cream fountain that was always busy. Bradley's Drug Store, which was purchased by Wib Seilkop, became the Corner Pharmacy on the west corner of Jefferson until it moved to its present location. Like the others, it featured a fountain service. The drug stores were great meeting places for morning coffee and afternoon sodas.
The downtown area enjoyed
several good restaurants: The Grill on South Washington, another business lost to the big fire; Ballentines, which later
became the Diamond Grill; the Silver
Front; Anotts; Doc and Tom's; Cadbury's Bakery; Duch Deffner's;
and Mark Striders, which later became Pearce's. Penny's and Simmons' that came along later were home-owned and prospered as well. Joining the dining fare were the
restaurants at the Harper and Elliott
hotels. Both featured a la carte
menus in their dining rooms, and the
hotels themselves provided
comfortable sleeping rooms and great lobbies.
The needs of Greenfielders
were also furnished by those who
operated the various
department, shoe and variety stores. Department
stores where all types of clothing was sold included Heidenfield, Fullerton, Doster's Hat Shop, Moehlenpage's, United
and Nichol and Row, along with Brubaker's Shoes and Strain and Ross. John Holland Shoe Repair was also a busy place for the
youngsters to have their baseballs sewn up after the stitches came out. Mary Ford was a local expert at making
these and other necessary repairs. Gossetts' too, took care of the
residents as it furnished books, magazines, gifts, office supplies
school books that were bought and
sold as new or used with credit given for the trade-ins.
Household needs were met
in other ways through a number of stores, including the Greenfield
Furniture Company that was operated by Leroy Brizius. Situated on the
corner of Jefferson and Washington Streets,
the store housed three floors of furniture.
One of the town's first five and 10 stores
was the Variety Store that was located next to Ashling's
Hardware, and Ashling's offered not only hardware, but harness, sporting
goods, toys and stoves, too. Likewise, John Woods Hardware — that
became Jones' — provided the varied goods for
the citizens. In addition, there was Hamilton
Electric that was located on the south side of Jefferson Street.
It would provide repair service for
electrical appliances like irons, washers and radios. John J.
Mertz operated the Greenfield Lumber Company, and this business, along
with the Slagle Lumber Company, provided the
means for building supplies of all kinds. And having all types of
building supplies, paints and some appliances,
too, the Greenfield Grain and Hay could supply you with these
lines and more.
Tailoring services were
offered by Glenn Harris with the help of Ed Conner.
Together they also provided dry cleaning services. Jewelry could
be bought at H.H. Limes or Ed Canter's,
and a Western-Union office was located on South Washington
Street. City services were carried out in
City Hall while the post office that was located on the first
floor. The police chief, George Willis, kept the peace with two
patrolmen and one police car that he could not drive.
such as Chevrolets could be purchased from the Motor Inn Garage that was
operated by Charles Davis. The
Ferneau Brothers on Jefferson Street handled the Chrysler line,
and Greenfield Ford also offered a new line of cars through manager Tom
Louden. Henry Price handled the used car trade on Mirabeau Street.
Yet Greenfield was not all mercantile,
as professional services were offered by several doctors, lawyers, and
the like. During the 1930s doctors J.B. Glenn, Herb Wilson, Howard
Martindale, Robert Jones and William Ambrose all had offices in the
village's business district, and they made house calls, too. The Drs.
Hull and Edwards, the local dentists, and
Dr. Noble, the chiropractor, had their offices uptown, too.
Together, with the help of Greenfield Municipal Hospital that was
located on South Street and managed by Mrs. Bobo, they provided for the
health needs of the community.
Lawyers who practiced in the busy downtown included J.S.S. Riley,
Dunlap, Arthur Horn and James West. Charles Uhl, the Andersons, Charles
Heiser, Walter Gray and Walter Dunlap
owned the local insurance
agencies. And Murray's Funeral Home
featured a front porch where Jim
Murray and his friends could sit and watch pedestrians walk by.
From the mercantile and the businesses to the professional offices, Greenfield
maintained a busy downtown trade and atmosphere. But it wasn't
all business. Entertainment could be
found at the Lyric and Royal theaters
where shows played nightly and matinees on Saturdays for nine
cents. The Daniels Brothers Pool Room and Cigar Store featured a soda
fountain service, while across the street, Sammy Heart operated another
Perhaps my biggest thrill of all as a youngster in the 1930s was taking the car downtown on Saturday afternoons, having it parked in the right place by 5 p.m. so our family and mother's friends could sit and watch the Greenfielders go by on their big Saturday night on the town.