Thursday, September 10, 2015
Remember When From the Past--January 3, 2008
Thursday, January 03, 2008
Stores of Bygone Days
It was fun reminiscing abut the mom and pop stores we used to have here in town. I
thought maybe I’d go a little farther and write about some of the stores of bygone days. I m not
listing all of them, just a few. I want everyone to know that I welcome ideas and comments for
this column anytime. I ve really appreciated the calls from so many commenting about the
Now let s think back to Main Street and how it use to be. There were so many fun stores
in town and you could actually drive both ways all the way through town. Of course that was
before the beautification took place and the one way driving initiated.
There was Daniels Drug Store (where Memory Land Photography is now). They carried a
line of gifts, candy (both bars and boxes. Who could forget the pink box of Glade s chocolates.
yum), jewelry, and much, much more. They had a good soda fountain. We used to stop after
school at Daniels or City Drug next door on the corner to have a cherry coke, cherry iron port or
maybe if we were brave a wild horse (I think that is what we called them. They had a little bit of
everything in them) Remember the little glass coke glasses. They held about 6 oz. and were only
Rex Anderson and Frank Beckstrom. I can t seem to remember who else worked there but when
Daniels sold out , he sold it to Rex Anderson and Frank Beckstrom went on the build his own
drug store where Dalton s Restaurant is now. It was always good to go to. You could park out in back and go in that way when you couldn t get a parking place in front. Frank and his wife Helen seemed to always be there and they were so friendly. Everyone liked to gather there to have a drink at the fountain. They were always good to hire high school kids to work there.
Then there was City Drug on the corner of Utah Avenue and Main Street (were Behling Ins. is now) In 1932 Bill Hansen (not the attorney but the father of former mayor Gary Hansen) came to Payson from Springville and worked as the pharmacist for Elmo Christensen. Hansen bought the business in 1957. He and Nona Fay Nielsen were the two pharmacists, Louise Harmer and Eddith Okerman worked there for many years. JoAnn Hales Ellsworth and Bonnie Okerman both worked there when they were in high school.
The old library was across the street south of City Drug. There isn t anything there now. I believe it was a bank to begin with. They still had the vault in there when the library was there. I remember Fern Barnett Hales working as the librarian. She was such a nice lady. (she was the mother of JoAnn Ellsworth) She had taken over as librarian when Mae McCall got married and moved to Heber. Fern died in 1949 from heart failure. There were several librarians along the way. Virginia Loveless, Elva Taylor, Lucy Peterson, and then Erma Buys started about 1972 and worked untill 1982 when her sister Lois Wright took over as Librarian. She was the librarian for 18 years (7 years in the old library and 11 in the new library at the City Center) Evelyn Bigler was also a librarian in the Senior Library. Sherrie Gay went on after Lois retired.
In the old library, they made the basement into a Jr. Library and Jeanne Lundholm worked there. In June of 2002 the library was moved from the City Center to the old J.C. Penney building in the middle of town. Linda Collard has been the head librarian since 1984 and Sherrie Gay has been the Jr. Librarian.
Speaking of the old J.C. Penney building, I miss that store. I use to have my kids pictures taken there every year. Once a year a photographer would come in and set up a area in the back of the store and you could take you kids for their pictures to be taken. It was great for me because they came in the summer about the time my kids birthdays were and so it was pretty cheap to have their birthday pictures taken. They would be on special for 49 cents.
I only remember one manager and that was a Mr. Denning. I know there were others. Some of the clerks that worked there for a lot of years were Zelda Hurst, Ruth Kallbacka, and Eleanore Loveless. I loved going into that store. Ruth, Eleanor, and I all shared the same birthday and it was fun to meet and wish each other a Happy Birthday. Ruth and I were in the YW presidency in the 6th ward together at that time.
Christensen s store was around for many years. McKay and Josephine Christensen owned it and they carried everything. They even carried LDS garments at one time. My mother worked there when I was just little girl and as I recall they even carried a few groceries. Then they remodeled and just had clothes shoes and material. They later carried LDS books. They remodeled and made the basement into a fabric center. Crystal Reynolds was the manager of the downstairs stores. Jane Elmer and Elene Seely also worked in the fabrics. Elsie West and Wilma Elmer worked for as long as I can remember in the upstairs. Jane Elmer told me she started in 1943 and worked for 20 years. Jane Elmer told me that McKay Christensen was the kindest man to work for. I remember my mother, Alene Heaps, saying the same thing. She had worked for them when I was just a little girl.
Who could forget Forsey’s five and dime store (where DumbBells is now). They carried everything under the sun. In the front of the store as you walked in, there were flat counters with little glass dividers that held makeup, powder puffs, perfume (remember Blue Waltz perfume. Cheap but kids thought it was wonderful). They had loose candy they sold by the pound. On the north side of the store were the baby items They carried hardware items, household items, dishes, pots and pans and on and on.
It was small at first but later they expanded to the north and made it twice as large. It was owned by Ruel and Marie Forsey. A few of the clerks I remember most are LaVar Hiatt, Donna Wilcock and her sister Colleen, Lillian Walker (Jack Walker’s mother) and Hattie Ahlin from Santaquin. It was certainly a place to go and get anything you wanted.
Wilson s Style Shoppe is one store I loved. They carried name brand clothes and it was classy. It was just a women s shop. Clyde Wilson, Kathryn Brown’s mother, owned it. After she died, Kathryn took it over and then her daughter Sue Taylor (of Curl Up N Dye) took over.
They carried the brands we high school kids thought we could not live without like Jantzen and Catalina. I would work in the summer packing peaches just to make enough money to buy my school clothes there. I d lay them away when they first came in and then I would pay and pick them up when I would get paid for working.
Sherm’s Men Store was the exclusive place to get mens clothing. He carried some
beautiful suits, coats, shirts and a number of other things. I loved to go in there to buy my husband Frank s clothes. One time I had Sherm order me a sport coat for Frank. He had to order them because he had such long arms Sherm didn t keep alot on hand. I told him what color I wanted and when the coat came in, Sherm said, boy I hope Frank likes it because there s noone in town with that long of arms. (by the way, Frank did like it)
Now days the kids in high school are taller than Frank who is six foot three. We have a grandson who at thirteen was as tall as his grandpa . They grow them bigger and taller now don t they.
The more I write the more I love to remember when Ralph Daniels owned the drug store and was also the druggist along with Vergie Done,