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1977197819791980198119821983198419851986198719881989

LIKE METZGER, READERS WILL RECALL STAR GROCERY
Thursday June 13, 1985


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Pix #1 - Outside view of Star Grocery, at the North Main Street location, taken in 1926, at which time the store won the national award by the Mazola Co., for their window display.

Pix #2 - Photo taken inside the Star Grocery when it was on North Main. No photos available for the South Main store. The three men in the back row, reading left to riht: Jim Harrison, Ed Foltz, Ervin Sheller. Front row: Leodia Sheller, Kathryn Mabus, Hazel Wolfe and an Allen girl, a customer.

Pix #3 - The Sheller family...the three men in back: Henry Sheller, father of Ervin; Ervin himself; John Hooper, husband of Mary Sheller Hooper. The ladies...Saloma, wife of Henry Sheller; Mary Sheller Hooper; Molly Sheller; Melissa Comer Kemp Sheller, Ervin Sheller's wife. Children...Leodia and Mary Sheller, Ken Hooper, Mahlon Sheller.

Pix #4 - Mahlon Sheller when a member of Jack Wainright's band

Pix #5 - Ken Hooper also member of that band.

Pix #6 - Mollie Sheller, Erv's sister, and part of grocery staff.

Pix #7 - Erv sheller...and his car of that day.

Author's Note: Today's article is related to last week's on Merritt Metzger. Metzger introduced the Henry Sheller family as a branch of his family, since "aunt" Saloma Bowers, a sister of his grandfather, married Henry Sheller.

Henry and Saloma moved to Fostoria to raise "their family" that included son Ervin, who became one of Fostoria's leading grocery merchants.

"It was back in about 1914" Metzger recalls, "when Ervin Sheller's Star Grocery was flourishing".

There are probably some old readers who will recall that store too...its locations, and those who were associated with it.

The first location of Star Grocery was on West Center Street where there had been other businesses, including L.O. Sprout who had a bicycle shop there. The YMCA now occupies that location.

MOVED TO MAIN STREET

In later years the Star Grocery moved to 105-107 S. Main. The next move for the grocery was to 127 N. Main, according to an old directory, that today may be either where Continental Cablevision or the Chamber of Commerce is. Originally, Sheller was president of the business; Arthur Walters, vice president; and Alvin E. Shultz, secretary and treasurer. Later, Walters dropped out of the business, and still later, sheller and his son Mahlon made up the proprietorship.

I recall vividly going to the Star Grocery as a lad to have orders filled... especially for butter. It was sold in bulk and packaged in small wooden containers.

The Sheller family was one of the most friendly families I was ever privileged to know, and Ervin sure made a wonderful grocery keeper, Metzger recalls. One of his sisters, Molly worked in the grocery store for a number of yeas, and she too having the friendly Sheller trait, added considerably to the profitable trade, he said.

HOME-OWNED GROCERY STORES

The accompanying photos tell interesting stories about the Star Grocery in particular and all groceries of that era.

They were all home-owned stores back then, small and personal, scattered all over town...not self-serve, but catered by clerks who knew all the customers.

Generally they offerd credit, and when the bill was paid on Saturday, or payday, customers were rewarded with candy.

In the case of Star Grocery, in addition to Ervin Sheller, Molly and Leodia and Mary, his daughters, and son Mahlon all clerked in the store at various times.

Mary (Sheller) Roberts is the wife of Fred, both residing at 521 N. Countyline, are well known to many readers. She was very helpful to me in putting together today's article. She has that "friendly" characteristic that Metzger mentioned.

Leodia, married Marion Stuckey, a farm boy from east of Fostoria. They have two sons Robert and Edwin, both residents of Findlay. When I sought photos for today's article from Mrs. Roberts, she referred me to Edwin Stuckey and he resurrected an album full of pictures his mother had kept from school days.

Mrs. Roberts is the only living member of the Sheller family.

GROCERY FOLDED IN 1930

The long history of the successful Star Grocery, under the Shellers, came to an end in about 1930, when Ervin Sheller became ill, and died in October 1929.

The Depression years made it impossible for the remaining Sheller family to keep the store in operation. Clarence Coppus took over the store after the Shellers quit and operated it for awhile.

Store business was in the Sheller girls (Leodia and Mary) blood, and consequently they eventually opened a new business at the corner of Union and North streets dispensing ice cream furnished by Hubachs, also homemade chicken sandwiches and the Sheller's recipe chili.

Many readers will recall the "giant" ice cream cone sign that was erected at that corner, advertising their wares...also, the outdoor tables for customers. It was strictly a summertime business.

For "good measure" some of the photos with today's article are "thrown in", since many readers will enjoy them, and it might be the only opportunity ever to use them.

I'll bet Mary (Sheller) Roberts would like to know if you have enjoyed today's article.

READER FEEDBACK: LE&W R.R. HISTORY

A recent letter from Don Kinnaman, former Fostorian, now living in Phoenix, AZ, informed me about the Nickel Plate Road Historical & Technical Society that is open for memberships.

They publish a magazine and a newsletter for members.

Since that railroad was so much a part of the history of railroads running through Fostoria for many years, there may be readers who would like to join.

For more information, write to N.K.P.H.T.S. Inc., Meer services, P.O. Box 10069, Cleveland, OH 44110-0069

POTLUCK STIRS UP CONTROVERSY

In last week's article, reference was made to Earl Green and his candy-making profession. I said that Green had learned his business under George Hayden, when he had an ice cream and confectionary store on South Main Street, where part of the Preis Store is now.

Two readers telephoned to tell me that I was in error. Had I gone into more of Green's history as a candymaker the misunderstanding would not have occured.

George Hayden happened to be my uncle, and I frequented his store as a boy at about age 9.

Green did learn his business under Hayden, and I recall seeing him make candy at the location mentioned. Green stayed with Uncle George until he quit business (the year I do not know) and accepted a job in Toledo with the F.W. Woolworth Co., operating one of their first restaurants.

In later years Green made candy for Pappas, Lekas, and Pavlokas in their store on Main Street. He also made candy under Edison's Drug Store at Main and Center.

As said in the article, Green also made candy in a building adjacent to his home on Culbertson.

Another item about Green, not mentioned in last week's article, was his ability in the wrestling arena. He may not have matched Al Ackerman, another local wrestler, but he did participate in this area.

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