Before P.D. Lehman's grocery was operating at the corner of Lima and Gormley streets a Mr. Horton operated a boot, shoe, and grocery shop in that same location. Mr. Wiley's harness shop stood just south of the P.D. Lehman grocery. Robert Crisswell Wiley purchased the Harness Department from _ Taft in June, 1879. R.C. was the father of Robin D. Wiley, an early grocer. In August he ran an advertisement indicating his new harness and saddlery shop on Gormley street. He carried single and double, light and heavy harness. He was selling collars from 65¢ upwards and halters from 15¢ upwards. He also sold Pennsylvania Tanned Chestnut Oak harness. After selling the shop they moved to Griffith, IN c1900. He died in the early 1960s.
Earlier at the location of the Hardin County bank was the Rhodes & Dickelman tin shop. It later became Pfeiffer brothers.
People will read advertisements. In re-setting W.P. Mapletoft's grocer advertisement, we unintentionally left out his name. Our attention was called to the omission by quite a numbe of people asking whose grocery it was. They can now direct their inquiries to Mr. mapletoft, who will furnish them with the desred information, also with anything they need in the grocery and provision line.
W.P. Mapletoft was in his new grocery on Gormley street in September, 1890 providing groceries, provisions, notions, etc. He called it the Gormley Street Grocery. He advertised the "highest market price paid for all kinds of country produce." D.R. Wise in the Odd Fellows Block invided the public to call at his grocery when they wanted anything in the way of provision, canned goods, etc. He carried fruits and vegetables in their seasons. W.F. Pierce & Son operated a grocery in the Wikoff room. In September, J.F. Nye occupied the W.J. Young Grocery store.
The C. Campion store was located where the A.N. Mick grocery was located. There was a restaurant, bakery, and a bowling alley on the corner north of the E.P. Simpson residence.
Peter J. Spracklen moved to Forest on January 25, 1891 where he would manage a wholesale and retail grocery for Tracy & Avery, of Mansfield. The grocery was opened in the Opera House Block. Arthur Todd left for Chicago to seek employment in the grocery business. He had worked for the W.J. Young Grocery for six years and for the A.N. Mick Grocery for nearly a year. In late June S.W. Waltermire began selling fresh bread in his grocery.
On January 15, 1892 someone entered the J.O. VanOrsdal & Co. grocery by prying open the back window and took some forty dollars worth of goods. It was the fifth burglary in Forest that winter. All, except one, looked like they were committed by a local individual. J.R. Hawk kept the S.W. Waltermire Grocery in January for S.W. In February, Elmer Nye left a few short lines on the show case in the grocery addressed to his father, saying that he was about to depart for parts unknown. A.N. Mick was selling Standard Coal Oil by the can at his grocery for 10¢ a gallon in February. In June, he put a new delivery wagon on the streets in connection with his grocery business. Dell Moore left for Chicago in June where he had secured work with Horace Stoddard in a Grocery store. W.J. Young sold his grocery in Washington C.H. in July. He contemplated starting a wholesale and retail grocery in Forest. In October a new grocery opened up in the Fitch Building. It was operated by Miss M.E. Mansfield & Co. The editor of the Review tried drumming up business for the new grocery by placing items in the paper like, "Trade at the new grocery" and "Excellent syrup 40¢ a gallon, at new grocery, Fitch building."
G.W. McCleary operated a grocery in 1903. The reputation of the grocery was having the best of everything while making the price as "low as possible." Spitzer & Dean may have operated a grocery in Forest in 1903. In November it was advertised as R.J. Dean's Cash Grocery. A.N. Mick considered his grocery to be "The Old Reliable Grocery House" as he said in an advertisement in December. "Everything a First-class Grocer Keeps."
March, 1904 found G.W. McCleary conducting another grocery in Fostoria. A deal on March 7th allowed him to move to Fostoria and conduct his grocery business there. He hired his brother, Elie McCleary, and Elbert Curry to run the grocery in Forest. The business conducted by McCleary's brother and Elbert Curry was for the new proprietor, P.D. Lehman. When Elbert Curry left, Harry Moore was hired to take his place. The successor to the R.J. Dean Grocery was P.E. Wickiser's North Side Grocery. Wickiser was advertised as being "The old reliable Ice Man." But he did have competition. D.F. Conover advertised that he had plenty of ice for sale. The room in the Waltermire Block, which had been vacated by G.W. McCleary, was undergoing repairs in March. A large new window was in the south side of the room.
The Wilson & Son Grocery operated in the Waltermire Building. When Scott Baker was injured while in the employment of A.N. Mick's Grocery in August, 1904 W.H. Spitzer temporarly took his place. On October 3rd P.D. Lehman had a watch drawing. Simpson's Big Barain Store had a Grocery Department. They sold coffee, lemons, butter crackers, ginger snaps, canned pumpkin, and corn.
The earliest information about the City Grocery was when G.W. McCleary's Grocery was purchased in 1904 by Paris Dupler Lehman. He opened it as the City Grocery and operated there from 1904 until his death in 1933. An
He Was No Settler
"I suppose that old chap with the long white whiskers over there is one of your old settlers, isn't he?" said the grocery drummer.
H.B. Rhonemus free picture gallery was a source of great attraction for the children on May 12, 1906. Over 200 negatives were taken by the photographer who gave a picture free to all comers in the interest of the H.B. Rhonemus Grocery. In May he installed a new awning and for 48¢ on May 26th he was selling 10 lbs. of Granulated sugar. L.V. Snider discovered an odd bird nest of bananas at the A.E. Snider Grocery in June. It contained two eggs of a curious color and was made of a grass or fiber new to Forest's latitude. Snider kept the nest and eggs as a souvenir.
Robin Ditzler Wiley operated the Wiley Grocery store. He was the successor to P.E. Wickiser's grocery. In an article titled "A Lucky Find" in the Forest Review Mrs. I.H. Asire had lost a ring and in looking for it she searched the sidewalks "clear to the Wiley grocery." Asire searched until almost midnight before finding the ring in front of the Wiley Grocery. In July an advertisement ran which stated to the effect, "You must eat. We are prepared to accommodate the public with everything to be had in a first class grocery. Wiley's Cash Grocery, Odd Fellows Block. Wiley also advertised as Wiley's Cash Grocery who wanted 1,000,000 customers. In September, 1907 the grocery stock of Robin Wiley was sold to Berlien & Berlien. By May, 1908 Wiley was in Drummond, MT and returned to Forest around August, 1909 to look after his properties. Forest considered him to be the "Montana Kid." He returned to Montana in September, 1909. In October, 1909 the old Robin Wiley house on Patterson street was raised in order to install new sills and foundation. Wiley lived for some time in the Shepard Hotel in Missoula, MT and finally at the Elks Temple at Missoula. He was a "boomer operator" and a retired telegrapher for the Northern Pacific railroad. By 1955 he was the oldest living graduate of Forest high school.
H.B. Rhonemus, who had been conducting his grocery business in the Waltermire room sold out to P.E. Wickiser in July. Wickiser had been in the grocery business several times before purchasing the Rhonemus business. Possession took place immediately. Rhonemus, one of Forest's most enterprising merchants had no future plans and stayed for a time with the new owner.
The Busy Bee Grocery was conducted by M.L. Wolf in 1907. S.R. Baker of the "Baker's Bakery" rented W.M. Gage's Bakery in September and had the Big Four Restaurant and Wolf's Grocery as agents. An immence tomato, weighing two and one-half pounds, was left in October at the P.D. Lehman Grocery by Geo. Kees, who wanted to know who could best it for hefftiness. A few days after Samuel Ash got sick in Snider's Grocery he died. That was on October 23rd. P.D. Lehman's Grocery used the motto "Good goods; prices right." in December.
While two boys were scuffling in front of Berlien & Beriien's Grocery store on February 28, 1908, they smashed one of the large panes of glass in the store window. Frank Wilch repapered the Berlien & Berlien Grocery store in April. Harry Lehman open his New Meat Market on June 20, 1908. He was located the first door north of P.E. Wickiser's Grocery. The same week the Crum Bros. Home Bakery & Lunch Counter was advertising bread, cake, confectionery, cigars, and tobacco. The rats were making quite a nuisance of themselves in the wareroom of the Berlien & Berlien Grocery store in July. The old board floor was removed and replaced with cement which solved the problem. The Lehman Grocery sold gasoline in 1908. In December Ralph Cline began clerking for the Cline Grocery helping his father after clerk Van Baker stepped down. Baker was well liked in Forest, a faithful and honorable clerk handling another's money.
After being in the grocery business exclusively for twenty-four year in Forest, A.N. Mick branched out and took in other lines. He purchased a large stock of decorated chinaware, which he offered for sale at low prices. He also took in glassware and Chine tea sets.
In 1910 a young lady from Whiteville, North Carolina left a slip of paper in a strawberry box consigned to P.D. Lehman. In the note the girl was wanting the purchaser of the berries to write her and state what was paid for it and what part of the country the berries were bought.
Stoddard Confectionary eventually became the location for the Lutz variety store and before the H.F. Shields drug store in its location was the Sulliger drug store.
On April 27, 1910, the Perris D. Lehman household in Forest, Jackson Twp., Ohio, listed J. William Lehman working as a clerk in the Lehman grocery. In 1912 he married Gladys E. Dumm, daughter of Robert R. Dumm and Celia Alberta Wentz. By January, 1920 he was grocery salesman and appeared on the U.S. Census of January 30, 1920. He later appreared on the U.S. Census of April 12, 1930 for Forest Village, Ohio where he and his family lived on Mary street.
In July, 1911 the National Bank put up new awnings. At the same time P.D. also had a new awning put up on the front of the building. After his death it continued as the City Grocery with Dave Lehman, John Rabberman, and several others.
In 1918 P.D. was in a checkers tournament which was played at the City Drug store. Seven games were running at one time. Ralph Cline, Bud Robinson, and Dale Shields were also in the tournament.
Elmer Harrington of Wharton was fourth in a state tournament at Cedar Point in 1917. He was defeated by P.D. in the local tournament losing 7 games to 9.
William Jesse Lehman was born at Forest, Ohio, on August 5, 1891. William was a member of the United Methodist church church at Forest, Ohio. His nickname was Billie. On June 13, 1900 the Lucy and Paris D. Lehman household in Forest, Jackson Twp., Ohio, listed Jessie Lehman. He was also a member of Senate Lodge No. 378, F. & A.M, the Knights of Pythias, and the Village Council at Forest, Ohio between 1910 and 1950.
The sudden death of Wm. J. Bill Lehman, a veteran grocer of Forest, recalls to the mind of the writer four generations of Lehmans who have been in either the meat or grocery business in Forest for the past 60 years or more. During all these years, their honesy in business and congenial personality has brought the Lehmans success in business.
First was Sam Lehman, Bill's grandfather, who conducted a meat market in Forest many years ago in a frame building on the corner of E. Lima and Gormley streets. He was assisted by his sons, Horace, Paris and Harry. In those days they butchered stock bought from the farmers and stored the meat in large refrigerators, cooled by huge cakes of ice, put up in the winter in saw dust in ice houses. They also made their sausage, smoked in their hams, shoulders and bacon.
Friends of the Lehman boys quite frequently congregated in the back room of the butcher shop to loaf and enjoy a little fun. Forest had no waterworks at that time, but there was always a jug of fresh water in the Lehman shop to quench the thirst. But there was a catch to this. A stranger tipping this water jug to his lips might also feel a fine stream of water running down his neck, being unaware of the fine hole drilled in the neck of the jug.
There was also a chair in the back room for a stranger. He would not tarry long, however, for a needle would mysteriously rise up throuth the chair seat.
It was in this shop where the writer in his earlier years became acquainted with "liver." For in this shop, after butchering, there would be a huge liver on a meat block which would be sliced, wrapped up and given to customers free of charge.
Paris "Bill" Lehman, "Bill's" father, in later years conducted a Grocery store on the same corner, Bill in his teens being placed behind the counter. "Bill," as he was known to his friends, enjoyed the company of his friends, placed chairs around the stove in the store for them, and daily sessions were held there by a group termed the Sanhedrin." In this group were Dan Dubbs, George Alter, John A McCleary, Sam Lutz and a few other grand old gentlemen, whose names we cannot recall, who have passed on. This venerable group discussed the topics of the day, and solved all national problems. When the arguments would sort of die down, Bill would walk past the stove and say a few words that would start up another argument.
At the death of his father, Bill Lehman took over the store, modernized same and enlarged the stock, but conducted the store on the same "live and let live" principles as the previous Lehmans. Bill was a great friend of the boys and girls. He saw that the candy department was well stocked with a wide variety of choice morsels for the kiddies, whose pennies drew the same courteous treatment from Bill as the adults' dollars.
Bill Lehman, continued in the grocery and meat business until a year or two ago, when his son David took over the business and later started the present Drive-In Market on Mad River street. Bill assisted his son in this new and modern market until the time of his death.
Bill Lehman, like his father and grandfather before him, was a man who had a legion of friends. He was unassuming, honest in business, devoted his life to his family, and tried to be a friend to everyone.
The I.G.A. Grocery, the old City Grocery, was captured on 8mm film by Steve Rabberman in 1962.
Steve's father, John Rabberman, had owned and operated the store many years before this photograph was taken. The bay window above the store was an apartment that was occupied for several years by Steve's grandmother, Mabel Rabberman.
Mabel was the wife of Dr. W.H. Rabberman, an early Forest physician, who died in 1932. Mabel died in 1963. The photograph was converted from an 8mm movie by Steve Rabberman that he originally shot in July, 1962. No. 1 is an image of the newspaper clipping which ran in the Forest Review telling of P.D. Lehman's purchase of the old G.W. McCleary grocery.
The Kroger Co. started its business in 1883 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Kroger grocery's complete operation in Forest is unknown. Leonard C. Harman was the manager in 1927. He was still manager in 1935. Paul Anspach was Kroger manager in 1949. Anspach also served on the Forest-Jackson school board. Later, Ralph Balmer was the Kroger manager and in 1949, a music teacher for the Forest-Jackson school system.
The photograph to the left is of someone who worked in the Kroger grocery in the 1930s. It is not Leonard Harman, the Kroger grocery manager, but it was taken at the same time that Harman was manager and Floyd Simpson was the manager of the Red & White grocery next door. Simpson was in the original photograph standing beside this individual. This individual's name and the date of the photograph is not known.
Outside the grocery there was always a place for people to sit and relax. Was this a marketing ploy used by Kroger? And did this make for a more confortable atmosphere inside?
This is the inside of Kroger's." The shelves were always fully stocked. In the photograph are two individuals. The date and the individuals are unknown. The individual (background center) may be L.C. Harman.
On July 27, 1927 Harman was hurt by flying bricks while helping to put out the Dickelman Mfg. Co. fire. He was the Kroger grocery manager in 1933. The Kroger Grocery store was located on the north side of Lima street where the old Forest-Jackson Community Library was before it moved into the Freight House.
The Mick Grocery was located just east of the First National Bank. In the photograph to the right, standing in front of the grocery is A.N. Mick. The woman standing near him in the doorway is unknown, but it may have been his wife. Another photograph of this building can be found here. The three individuals who are standing in front of the bank have never been identified.
The light pole in the right front of the photograph is across the street from the bank and has "Fishburn", et. al. written on its glass. Mark Fishburn's clothing store was located very near where this light pole stood. Above the bank was Dr. J.M. Wynn's office and just east of his office was Charles M. Reigle, Attorney At Law.
The following material on this page and on subsequent pages are letters sent to the Forest-Area Historical Society from Rodney Burk. The letters cover a multitude of things about Forest.
July 13, 2000
To the Forest-Area Historical Society,
The Red & White store was operated by Floyd Simpson in the room adjacent to the First National Bank. It featured a new way of displaying and vending canned foods. Cans were added at the top of a inclined raceway and rolled down to the customer's level. As the cans were removed, others rolled down to keep the raceway filled. Floyd Simpson was a member of the Clayton S. Simpson family included brothers; Jean Simpson, Carl Simpson, Paul Simpson, and Ronald Simpson. Ruth (Simpson) Lotz and Hazel (Simpson) Evans were their sisters.
Stevenson's grocery was located on the south side of Lima street in or near the old post office location. It was operated by Earl Stevenson assisted by sons Foster and Clayton. The store room was long and narrow with the entrance at the front. Gypsies once visited this store. They kept Earl busy at the back of the store while other gypsies pilfered at the front.
Nye's meat market was located just west ofSnider's restaurant on Lima street. It was owned by Chick Nye whose family consisted of; Margery, Helen, and Horace.
Lehman's meat market was a short distance west from Nye's. W.J. (Bill) Lehman had a son, David Lehman, who helped him in the store; also Tom Young.
Both of these markets butchered, rendered lard, and operated walk-in ice refrigerators. In the cold days of winter, large cuts of fresh meat were hung from large hooks along the wall of the store. For the price-conscience customer the markets offered low-priced sweet bread and brains, ham bones for soup, and crackling. Kidneys for your cat was free!
The origin of the Forest Food Locker & Super Market is with Carroll Switzer. Those people who had electricity and home refrigerators with freezer compartments was limited in the mid-1940s and before. In 1944, as a promoter, Switzer tried to get ballot signers. He had received sufficient numbers of signers to get the "go" sign to build the lockers, but was informed that he had 25 too many names under the form's brackets. Then a number of people having signed up for lockers didn't pay their advanced rent causing further delay to the construction. The locker was finally built. Later the
On July 14, 1944, Caroll Eugene Switzer bought the building and land from The Forest Hatchery Company. From July 14, 1944, to February 23, 1948,
Cows and hogs were butchered for people in the north part of the building and in the south part, there was a large freezer-room which contained many individual lockers. People rented the lockers primarily to store the meat they had butchered. The animal carcasses hung on a hook attached to a ceiling track and when ready, the skinned, drained, and halved carcasses were pulled down a long hallway on the east side of the building and u-turned into a cooler.
After a period of time in the cooler, the carcass would be pulled out of the cooler (still hooked to the ceiling track) and lifted off the hook and placed on one of several very large, thick wooden, chopping tables. The side of meat would be cut up, wrapped, and the type of cut identified by stamping it on the outside of the package.
All the individual packages would be placed on trays and slid through several small windows into the freezer section which was a large room west of the cooler space. The next day someone would go into the freezer section and put the frozen meat into the purchaser's rented food locker. Both the cooler room and the freezer room were entered through hugh thick doors. The people renting the lockers could go in at any time, unlock their lockers, and remove whatever packages of meat they wanted at that time. Two men who helped Mr. Switzer butcher and cut meat were Raymond Packer & Bill Hart.
Before being remodeled into the photography studio, it had been the Forest Locker & Food Service since 1948 with several different owners. Commonly known as
On February 23, 1948, Jay Miller bought the building and land from Carroll E. Switzer. Mr. Miller remodeled the structure into a Grocery store. At that time, Mr. Miller added additional floor space to the west side of the original building changing the store entrance/front door from facing West Zimmerman street to facing South Martin street; this addition had a second floor. The second floor was made into a living area for the new owner and his family. For several years, they sold the "new" home freezers, as well as groceries.
December 24, 1949 was the Grand Opening of the Forest Locker's Super Market under the direction of Jason "Jay" Miller. And in 1949 Homer W. Gibson, a baker for over 25 years accepted a position with the Forest Locker & Food Service. He specialized in French and Danish pastry.
Around 1950 Bill was a councilman on the Village Council of Forest, Ohio. He was a grocer at the Lehman grocery until his death by a heart attack. He was buried in Hueston cemetery at the corner of CR20 & CR183, Forest.
Bert Jaquith upon the death of William Jesse Lehman in 1950, wrote the following for the Forest‐Review:
Johnnie Johnson, brother-in-law to Jay worked for several years as the "meat man" until he was inducted into the army in January, 1952 and eventually stationed at Camp Cook, California. Orland Packer became an employee in November, 1952 when he was hired on as a butcher probably to replace Johnnie. The same year, Mike Keller who had owned Mike's Grocery in Kirby joined up with the Locker.
Some time in March, 1956 the Forest office of Certified Foods, Inc. moved from a room north of the Forest Food Locker to the Liles room on Lima street, first door west of Boyd's Pharmacy. In December, 1955 Ollie Marquardt and Claude Gill purchased the entire stock previously owned by Jason Miller. It was to be a Save Mor which operated stores in Findlay, Fostoria, Deshler, and Napoleon. Bud Dyer was to be the manager. Old employees were expected to be retained. During the time Miller had the Locker he purchased the Red & White Store from Floyd Simpson and the Lehman Grocery, at the time operated by Paul Anspach. Office employees at the time were Sarah Brown and Helen Hensel. Illes F. Shupe and Cloyce Elsea would be store representatives. In July that year Jason and his wife moved to a new home in Florida where they expected to operate a motel.
Currently Goodrich Photography Studio is located in the old frozen food locker building on block 19 of the Village of Forest's original plot, lots 5, 6, and 7 excepting the west end of lots 5 and 6, commonly known as 202 West Zimmerman street.