Carrol Daily Times Herald from Carroll, Iowa on November 18, 1967 · Page 25
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Carrol Daily Times Herald from Carroll, Iowa · Page 25

Carroll, Iowa
Issue Date:
Saturday, November 18, 1967
Page 25
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Miss Viva Strohm in Family Store for 48 Years- Retired Businesswoman Recalls Yule Shopping in Early 1900 9 s By Jewel Tooley (Staff Writer) Christmas shopping in Carroll in the early 1900's "wasn't like it is now," observed a retired Carroll businesswoman, Viva Strohm, in comparing retail business of that period with that of the 1960's. Miss Strohm was associated for many years with J. A. Strohm and Company, general merchandise firm her* from shortly after the turn of the century until it was discontinued in 1955. She was "down town" working in the store for 48 years and still maintains a keen interest in business. Recalling the holiday seasons of yesterday, Miss Strohm noted that the stores didn't display their Christmas merchandise until after Thanksgiving, and people looked forward to the grand opening of the Yule shopping season. This is in sharp contrast to business practices today when Christmas goods appear early in October. "That gave people 30 days to shop,' Miss Strohm said. Then, as now, Carroll stores served the surrounding towns and farm areas as well as local residents. Many farm people came by train, and spent several hours in town shopping and visiting their friends. For example, those living in the Westside area could board the Chicago and North Western Railway's train which operated between Westside and Glidden, arrive in Carroll about 10 a.m. and spend about six hours in town before the train returned to Westside. The stores in early days were not open extra hours to accommodate Yule shoppers, nor did the proprietors hire additional help for the holiday seasons. Most of the stores stayed open until six o'clock and some until after supper, Miss Strohm recalled. No one ever saw Santa Claus Times Herald, Caroll, la. Saturday, Nov. 18, 1967 walking the streets or inside the stores quizzing the little ones as to their Christmas wants and giving them treats. Neither was it customary in those days for store clerks and management to have Christmas parties and gift exchanges as many do today. The "after- Christmas" sales as we know them today were not customary years ago, the veteran clerk reflected, adding that people generally didn't come back after Christmas to exchange the gifts they had received — they kept them. Credit cards were not in use in the early-day business world. Most people paid for their merchandise when they bought it. "If they couldn't, we carried them on our books; and we always got the money from our customers," Miss Strohm said. Merchants of the early 1900's took pride in decorating their store windows for the Christmas season much the same as now. One of Strohm's Store displays which Miss Strohm recalls in particular featured fine white handkerchiefs, folded identically and pinned to a back- An Electric Kitchen: Best Yule Present What more could a housewife ask for this Christmas? Beauty is bursting out all over in the kitchen — especially in electric ranges. The big news is color, with a greater variety available each year. And the sleek built-in look is "in". Free-standing models can be made to look "custom built". Interchangeable front panels can be had in a variety of colors and designs, with changeable decorator handle strips. The smooth, neat appearance of electric range surface units always has appealed to homemakers. Now, some electric ranges have top units which can be pushed back, out of sight, or folded up against a wall when not in use. One manufacturer will soon announce an electric cooking counter with four heating units beneath a flat Pyroceram ceramic surface! A boilover is just wiped off — and the surface used for other things when you are not cooking. Trile built-ins are becoming more attractive and easier to install, as more and more prefabricated cabinets are offered which are designed to fit. As eye-level ovens gain in popularity, electric range designers are giving thought to their appearance, inside and out. One model has a reversible interior back panel finished in Teflon on one side (for use when cooking) and bright chrome on the other. After washing off spatter from the Teflon side, just put back the panel cromeside out for "show". Another oven beauty trick is a mirror-finish door. Turn on the oven light and see what's cooking. Turn it off, and the window becomes a mirror! Best of all, the new electric ranges offer more cookability than ever before, plus easy- clean features. Barbecue units, grills and griddles are appearing on surface units, as are L, Whatever your plans . . . you can find just the right model electric range to bring beauty and efficiency to your new kitchen. In today's electric kitchens the built-in look is really "in." Wa-tan-ye Club Plans Yule Projects Children in one of the special education classes of the Carroll Community Schools will have a new doll to love and care for this Christmas as a gift of the local Wa-tan-ye Club service organization for business and professional women. The 14-inch "little girl" doll was purchased by the club and is being outfitted with a complete wardrobe by one of the members, Mrs. Ed R. Anderson. Included will be underclothes, nightwear, play toys, dress-up clothes, a coat, hood, shoes, blankets and possibly a sleeping bag. The club also plans to make holiday favors for shut-ins; to contribute to the Jaycee-sponsored community Christmas baskets, the Carroll County Association for Retarded Children .and to UNICEF. To help raise funds for their various service projects undertaken throughout the year, the clubwomen participate in their annual sale of pecans as a pre- holiday activity. They plan to hold a cookie and candy sale in downtown Carroll on Dec. 16. drop which extended the full height of the window. The last-minute shoppers of today are not new — they have been on the Christmas shopping scene for many years. Miss Strohm remembers one woman who invariably came hurrying down to their store to do all of her Christmas shopping just before closing time on her way to the Christmas Eve program at church. This meant gift- wrapping, too, which was done in early days as a courtesy to customers, "so we were usually late getting home on Christmas Eve," she commented. Business in Carroll at the turn of the century was concentrated on Main S t r e e t. Miss Strohm reminisced. When her father, J. A. Strohm, came here from Kansas in 1895 he went into the mercantile business with his brother-in-law, Cyrus Marks, in the building now occupied by The Herald Pub- down town area, such as an implement business just south of the Temple building where Sernett's Variety Store is now. Will Light also moved his mercantile store over to Adams Street a few years later. Across the street, where Jung's Bakery is situated, was "Brand y" Smith's beverage parlor which was a popular spot for local persons and particularly traveling salesmen, Miss Strohm recalled, laughing that "Brandy" tried to run his place so as not to offend folks at the Presbyterian Church which was located at the corner now oc- lishing Company on Main Street. At that time it was owned by Dr. A. L. Wright, father of Robert A. Wright of Carroll. A few years later "Marks and Strohm" was divided among relatives. From the division emerged J. A. Strohm's Store and another operated by Will'Light; and Cyrus Marks moved to Chicago. Mr. Strohm continued his business in the Wright building for a short time. Next door south was a restaurant and on the corner where Main Ice Cream is now located was a shoe store operated by Sebastian Waltz. Just north of Strohm's was a grocery store operated by E. N. Merchant, whose home was located/ at the present Post Off ice'site. In 190*, Strohm's moved from Main Street to the Masonic Temple building at the corner of 6th and Adams Street. At that time this was the only business establishment on that side of the block. It was a number of years before other firms came to that section of the cupied by the Carroll County State Bank. Being a general merchandise store, Strohm's carried a wide variety of articles including yard goods, buttons and other sewing supplies, carpets and linoleum, dishes, jewelry, groceries and ready-to-wear (as early as 1906). Marshall Field and Company of Chicago was the chief source of supply, and in earlier years the merchandise was ordered when traveling salesmen came through and it was shipped by train. "We didn't buy cheap merchandise," Miss Strohm stated as she called attention to a carpet from the store which has been in her home for 55 years. Fire destroyed the Masonic Temple on March 20, 1913, and with it went much of the stock of Strohm's Store. While the were re-building, on corner of Seventh and Carrot Streets. For a short time before the completion of that building the store was operated in the present Kuker building on North Court Street. The Carroll Street building is now owned and occupied by Seig Company. Working in the store with Mr. Strohm were all of his children —Clayton, Eva, Mary, Viva and Abner — and as they entered the business the firm became known as "J. A. Strohm and Company". The family continued in the business following their father's death in 1937, closing out in 1955. Mary, (Mrs. Earl Delaplane) resides in Rochester, Minn.; Abner Strohm, in Mesa, Ariz.; amd "Vi", as she is known tinues to live to in many, con- the Strohm the same site, S t r o h m's occupied temporary quarters on Fifth Street at the present location of Davis Paint Store, and moved into the new Masonic building in 1914. In the interim a good deal of the Strohm merchandise was stored at several places including the family garage. In telling of the fire, Miss Strohm recalled that among things destroyed was a new suit which Mrs. M. J. Kelly had purchased for Easter and had left at the store for alteration. The Strohm firm leased quarters from the Masons for 35 years before moving into its own new brick building at the family home at 715 North Main Street. Clayton Strohm died in 1959 and Mrs. Eva Ross, in 1962. "Vi" graduated from Carroll High School in 1907 and attended Cornell College for a short time before returning home because she wanted to work in the store. Her work first was on a parttime basis and then full-time. She has always enjoyed meeting people, an asset to her business career. She still likes people, she declares, and it is a real pleasure for her when friends —many of them former store customers — drop in for • visit. Although not as spry as in her younger years, Miss Strohm does her own work and cooking (including making coffee by adding egg) and walks down town frequently. She is a member of First Methodist Church and a 50-year member of Signet Chapter No. 1, Order of the Eastern Star, which she served as worthy matron in 1922. Soon she will be writing her Christmas cards in the peace and quiet of home, away from the hustle and bustle of the business world with its last- minute shoppers. surface-mounted rotisseries. ! One countertop unit has a self- contained vent which pulls moisture and odors down into a center grille. Besides the wonderful self- cleaning ovens (available on more and more models), other electric range parts are now being made removable, for cleaning at the sink. Broiler reflectors have joined the list of removable interior oven parts. Now, you can obtain a warming oven to install above the electric cook top. It keeps food and plates warm with the heat of infrared lamps, without adding any heat to the kitchen, or interfering with oven cooking. You're sure to find some of these features on the electric ranges installed in new Gold Medallion Homes — another reason why homemakers just love total-electric living! Victorian Christmas Depicted at Museum Christmas affords the museums in the United States a chance to recreate scenes of olden days out of treasured antiques. Typical of these was a recent display at the Museum of the City of New York. Called "A Victorian Christmas," a tree, decked with paper horns, gilded walnuts, and other rare Victorian ornaments was the forcal point of the exhibit. The tree was placed in a setting which recreated the family's Christmas Day in an authentic Victorian household of the 1880's, using mannequins to portray parents and children. Every item inAe scene was of the late Victorian period. The Christmas tree ornaments were hung in the New York home of the Lever family during the 1880's. The toys, made for children long ago, features a dressed bride doll, a German wooden castle, cardboard soldiers and an elaborate folding paint box. Fashions of the day were also of special interest. One of the children wore a blue silk dress that was once owned by a little girl named Renee Hershfield in 1884. The father wore a suit that belonged to Jay Gould, the great financier. Visiting families at the museum were able to experience Christmas as it was celebrated almost a century ago. ROCKEFELLER TREE In Rockefeller Center in Manhattan an enormous illuminated Christmas tree has been an annual event since 1933. MOTOROLA NO MONEY DOWN AND YOU CAN ENJOY IT FOR CHRISTMAS NEW RCA VICTOR TV i Automatic Fine Tuning (AFT) A perfectly fine tuned picture every time — that's what you get with this RCA Victor New Vista Color TV. No need to worry about fine tuning—electronic fine tuning does it for you. Let the beauty of RCA Victor Color Television brighten your home this holiday season. DON'T WAIT . . . TAKE UP TO 36 MONTHS TO PAY The BEADFIELD Model GJ-709 23" diag. 295 sq. in. picture Contemporary styling—genuine wood veneers and solids with an applied Walnut groin finish. Record storage area Want to Melt Her Heart This Christmas? Hours of Beautiful Music Enjoyment for The Whole Family Sound Beauty Like You Have Never Heard Before Italian Provincial cabinet of Genuine Mahogany veneers and select hardwood jolids with Carpathian Elm Burl overlay panels. New I High-frequency exponential horns with Motorola-developed Solid-State Drivers HO PAYMENTS UNTIL FEB. 1, 1968 SPORRER'S TV & Appliances ifc»ti»)*»^ Six speakers. FM/AM, FM stereo radio. Solid-State amplifier and tuner. 100 watts instantaneous peak power output; 20 watts EIA music power output. COAST • Feather-trac tone arm. • Provision for external speakers. Stereo headphone jack. • Record changer compartment light. 10-YEAR DIAMOND STYLUS REPLACEMENT GUARANTEE — Motorola, Inc.. guarantees to replace for the original owner the Diamond Stylus (needle), excluding cartridge, for ten (10) years from date of set purchase If Diamond portion of stylus becomes defective In normal use and stylus Is returned to Motorola, Inc., with $1.50 and replacement certificate. Sapphire stylus has separate guarantee. STORE ELMER FRIEDMAN — DUANE TAPHORN ^^^

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