Friday, September 23, 2011

The Lawrenceville Square in the 1940's & 50's

Lois Gardner Ross published an article in the Sumner Press on February 25, 1999 titled "A Tribute to Ernie Diggs".  In this article she described the Lawrenceville Square in the 1940's and 50's. 
     Beginning at Abernathy's Hardware Store with  its friendly helpers, Russell Abernathy and Dessie Tucker and the upstairs apartments, she described the businesses north up 12th St. Kroger's store was on the corner, later Rechter's. Next door was the big Woolworth Dime Store.  
     Glover's Confectionery Store was next where Harry Glover ran the Glover Bakery making his deliveries to the little grocery stores all over town and sold his coney's with his slaw topping, barbecues, and fountain Cherry cokes served in booths or table.  "Checker" Glover covered his bulging belly with his apron, cooked his coney's in the back room, slept on the Courthouse lawn during the steamy summer nights and personally greeted his many customers according to Ms. Ross's article. 
      Johnny Montgomery sold Grit magazines. "Hamburger"Cozart sold sandwiches with Percy Perrin, Ollie Stoltz, Vivian Christian and the Reynolds twins, Doris & Deloris and the writer herself, Ms Ross assisting in this endeavor. 
      Next door was the West Side Pool Room run by Bill Schultz, later being owned by Arthur Devonshire, then his son, Arthur L.   Barney Dickerson was the local cop during this period of time. Next was Patrick's Drug Store with their soda fountain. In addition to the owners, Willie Legg worked there. 
      The A&P store  was managed by Kelly Davis;  Alice Fry and Gladys Fry were check-out clerks. Homer Nead also worked there.   Also on the west side of the Square was Haines Hardware Store, run by Ira Haines, his wife Ruby, and brother Milt, son Don and Joan.  Mrs. Hedde's Baby shop stood on the corner. 
   Across State Street was the People's Bank Building where Karl Glover was the President and Bill Buchanan a teller.  Upstairs was George Lackey, a lawyer and owner of the abstract business assisted by his clerks Myrtle Cross and Georganne Johnson. 
  John Burns sold Maytag Washers.  George's Ice Cream was next  and then  a tavern rounded out the block.  Across the street was Max Morey's Barber Shop, then McGaughey's insurance office was along side the Texaco Union Building. (The writer left out the dress shop owned by Mary Spencer Young)   Then came Hedde's Drug Store owned by Don Bennett, later Baker's Store. 
     Sears Mail Order store was managed by John Davis employing many people.  June Bridgett, Edna Borden, Beulah Edwards and Wayne Malosh being some of them.  Then came Lyle Cochran's Insurance, now Benny's.  Delzell's and Yosowitz stores were also along that row.  Guy Mills had the Happy Hour Grocery Store. The Green Room was managed by Paul "Pud" Emmons.  Rexall's finished out the north side with  Harry Hardin and Dick Alsman.
    To the north of the Rexall Store, once stood the Lawrenceville Police Station.   Across the street was Hotel Lawrence on the corner run by the Bucholz family with a restaurant on the main floor and a tap room in the basement.  It flourished during and right after WWII.  The State and Avalon Theaters along with Teegarden Furniture store was located where Golden Rule offices are now.  At the Avalon Theater the manager was Mr. Stevens.  Johnny Montgomery took the tickets at the entrance.  Alex Adams owned The Lounge on the corner.  Then the Post Office was across the street.
      Across from the Post Office was Penny's, Ada Lee, CIPS, Humphrey's Market, Rominger Shoes and the Bank building.
    While the article was of interest because of the names associated with the businesses, I'm sure there are readers out there who can furnish other information about the businesses located around the square.  The Historical Society would love to hear from you, or scan any pictures that you care to share.