Years ago just about every neighborhood in town had its own convenient, small grocery store. The Texas Market at the corner of North Grant and West North streets in Wooster was one of them.
Since Nancy Mackey grew up on Grant Street as a child, the Texas Market was where her family shopped. Often her mother would send little Nancy to the grocery.
"I started going to the Texas Market by myself when I was four," said Mackey several years ago. "One time no one would wait on me so I just sat down on a box. Eventually my mom showed up. Sometimes my mom would put my baby brother on my lap and she’d go to the store. Now Children Services would be called."
Joe Massoni, a 1964 WHS graduate, said that’s where his family got their groceries, too.
"We would just go in and charge it and then pay the bill at the end of the month," he said. "I remember the specials well ... 10 loaves of bread for a dollar, 3 pounds of hamburg for 99 cents."
Lee Edington owned the Texas Market from 1954 to 1970. He was 24 years old when he went into business running what had been his wife’s uncle’s store.
Several years ago Edington recalled the time when two escapees from the Mount Vernon jail came through Wooster driving a stolen car and robbed the grocery.
"They got away with $300," he said, "then they split up. The two got caught when one of them went down to the Pipeliners, got drunk and shot off a gun."
During most of the years he owned the grocery, Edington said the store was open seven days a week. However, he decided to sell the market several years after the Blue Laws went into effect because being closed on Sunday "knocked the devil out of the business."
Ten years ago the late Joe Retzler called with an interesting tidbit about the century-old high school football rivalry between Wooster and Orrville that’s taken place since 1903.
Retzler said his dad, Herman, was the Orrville High School football coach back in 1917 — the first year Orrville beat Wooster, 13-0.
Herman Retzler had been hired as a math teacher and football coach at Orrville High School after graduating from Wooster College in 1916.
Years later, Mr. and Mrs. Retzler and their son, Joe, opened Retzler’s Hardware on North Walnut Street.
Many Wooster drug stores have been mentioned in this column including Stype’s, Muskoff’s, Maurer’s, Snyder’s, Crum’s, Boyd’s, Rodenbaugh’s, Frank Wells and Giffin Prescription Center. During the 1950s and ’60s there was only one chain present in the city — Gray Drug, based in Cleveland.
"In addition to the soda fountain at Maurer’s," said one reader, "Frank Wells also had a soda fountain that was an after-school meeting place for local high school students to gather before they went to Wally Franks’ Wooster Music Store to listen to the latest records in the booths at the back of the store.
"By the way," he added, "Boyd’s Drug Store was in business here from 1880-2000."
Before Freedlander’s department store had a pneumatic tube system, a wire basket carried the sales slip and payment to the office on a wire.
Thought you should know.
Columnist Ann Gasbarre can be reached at email@example.com or 330-345-6419.