Ed and Helen Buehler opened their first grocery store in New Philadelphia in 1929 then moved the business to Wooster in 1932. The original grocery in Wooster was on East Liberty Street next to the former Brenner Bros. men’s clothing store. The Alvin Rich Hardware Store (later the Beulah Bechtel dress shop) was on the corner next door to Brenner’s.
One reader remembered it was a “long, narrow grocery” and that “they had tall baskets of vegetables out on the sidewalk.”
Five years ago the late Eileen (Buehler) Cross recalled when — as a little girl — her father would take her to the store in order to give her mother a break in the evenings.
“I’d play in the sawdust,” she remembered, “and — instead of blocks — I’d play with the cans on the shelves. I couldn’t read, but I could tell what was inside the cans by the pictures.”
Her late brother, Don, said produce for the grocery was brought back from Cleveland twice a week. Once the truck arrived in the back alley, produce was sent down a shoot into the lower level … then, after it was prepared for sale, the produce was brought back upstairs.
“Produce manager Tony Iannarelli whistled constantly,” Don Buehler recalled. “Every morning he’d walk from his home on Pittsburg Avenue to the store — whistling all the way. Tony was wonderful … he taught all of us kids a little Italian.”
By 1947 the small Liberty Street grocery had outgrown its space, so Ed Buehler built another larger store on North Market Street across from the old post office (today’s Board of Education building).
“However, Dad had no more than finished the store,” Cross said, “when he decided he had made a mistake — there wasn’t enough parking. It wasn’t long before he bought the property next to the old library on North Market and built a larger, more updated store — today’s Buehler’s Towne Market.”
(Buehler’s Milltown Store opened in 1980.)
6th grade memories
Several years ago Don Bogner shared memories of Bowman Street Elementary School 6th grade teacher Martha George.
“I remember her in the mid-‘50s as a very imposing lady who always seemed to be dressed in a black, floor-length Victorian dress with a high buttoned collar,” he said. “Her desk was totally covered in plants and vines, thus making it impossible to see her seated at her desk.
“She was a disciplinarian,” he affirmed.
Early park setting
Wooster’s first city park was located on land purchased in 1895 from Ephraim Quinby Jr. It was located at the northwest corner of today’s Cornerstone Elementary School campus (the former Wooster High School property) and was called City Park.
According to former Parks and Recreation director Chuck Malta and his research, the city eventually decided it needed more parkland for the growing community, so in 1924 the area known as Christmas Run Park nearby was purchased from James Blessing and H.V. Mowery.
Then — with the help of a grant from the Freedlander Foundation — in 1947 the city built and opened Christmas Run Pool on nearby “Hogback Hill.”
Because of his successful department store downtown, influential Wooster businessman William Annat was quite wealthy.
In the early 1900s the Annat family had a maid as well as a private chauffeur. (Margo Broehl’s law office on North Market Street was once the Annat family home.)
Thought you should know.
Columnist Ann Gasbarre can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 330-345-6419.