The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

November 3, 2013

Grocery stores provided jobs, delicacies

(Continued)

Grab-It-Here

Octogenarian Don Stuebe of Danville said he started working in the grocery store business when he was 15 years old in the mid-1940s, starting out for six years at Grab-It-Here and then nine years at the Paxton distribution warehouse at Factory and Stroup streets.

“I worked at the Grab-It-Here store right across the street from the VA entrance. It’s not there anymore,” he said.

“I don’t know how they got everything in such a little store.”

While working at the warehouse, Stuebe said the employees would receive a scrip that entitled them to a 10 percent discount on groceries at Grab-It-Here.

Other grocery stores

Ilene Smith from West Lebanon, Ind., said her family lived at 416 Martin St. in Danville from 1941 to 1948.

She said there were three grocery stores in a one block area: Natho’s store in the 600 block of Jewel Street across from Collett School, Miller’s store in the 600 block of Bowman Avenue and Otis Jones’ grocery store on Seminary Street.

“Mr. Miller had hand-dipped ice cream cones,” Smith recalled. “You could get a big two-dip of New York vanilla ice cream for a nickel. It was golden, rich and delicious.

“He also stocked chocolate chip cookies in bulk,” she said. “You could get one or a pound. They tasted like homemade.”

Smith said her mother worked part-time for Jones as a store clerk — stocking shelves and waiting on customers — during World War II when Smith’s dad was in the Navy in the South Pacific.

“I remember the Marvel brand well,” she said. “When my dad got home, he would send me to the store for a pack of cigarettes for him. Marvel cigarettes were a quarter a pack. He would give me a quarter and a nickel for cigarettes for him and a treat for me.”

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