The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

October 6, 2013

Timm’s was paradise to kids

DANVILLE —

Last month, we discovered there were two Leo Smiths living in Danville around the same time period. Leo C. Smith ran the Colonial Parkway Restaurant, while Leo W. Smith ran Timm’s Groceries at 629 N. Collett St.

It seems that a lot of people remember Leo Wayne Smith and his Timm’s Groceries that stocked “almost everything.”

“My grandmother lived on Collett and many times I went to the store,” Shirley Smoot of Danville said. “He had almost everything there along with penny candy. The store had wooden floors and a meat counter.”

During the 1930s and 1940s, Norma (Smith) Williamson and her brother, John L. Smith, routinely made their way up and down North Collett Street between their home and Timm’s Groceries, where their father, Leo Wayne Smith, then worked for Jack Timm.

Williamson’s daughter, Theresa Liggett of Westville, said when she and her siblings, Bob Williamson and Mary (Williamson) Boyd, were growing up in the 1950s and 1960s, their grandpa Leo owned and operated Timm’s with their grandma, Mary (Connelly) Smith.

“My brother, sister and I are blessed with many treasured memories of our grandparents, including memories associated with their store,” Liggett said.

“As proprietor of Timm’s Groceries, our grandpa wore many hats … butcher, delivery man, clerk and accountant, to name but a few. We can still see him standing behind the meat counter, clad in bib apron, removing huge, hanging sides of beef from the meat cooler,” she said.

“Using assorted knives and saws, he busily worked at the butcher block filling orders as requested by customers, then wrapped the prime-quality steaks, chops, etc. in butcher paper secured with string spun from a big counter spool,” Liggett recalled. “The meat counter also served as a deli with delectable offerings of cheeses and lunchmeats. Whenever I’d ‘happen by’ him, he’d knowingly wink and slip me a slice of cheese or bologna.”

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