Groceries flourished in Tipp City

By Susie Spitler

For the Weekly Record Herald

TIPP CITY — We at the Historical Society have been told that at one time there were 27 grocers in Tipp City. If you think about it, it makes sense.

Before refrigerators people had ice boxes. The ice man brought ice blocks every few days and the woman of the house could only buy what she could keep for a short time. Families did not have two vehicles, which meant the lady of the house could only buy what she could carry home.

The downtown groceries were usually long, narrow stores with mostly basic items. You took your list to the person at the counter, they selected everything and brought it to the counter to be paid for and bagged. That is until 1948, when Dorsey’s Food-O-Mat was built on the northeast corner of Second and Dow.

“It will be one of the most modern and complete stores of its kind in the Miami Valley,” the Tipp Herald said at the time.

Many of the groceries were scattered throughout neighborhoods to accommodate families. Some were run right out of the owner’s home. The McCandliss Family lived in the house on the southwest corner of Park and Fourth and operated a grocery in the front downstairs. The J.H. Whiteman Family operated a grocery out of the large home on the southeast corner of Main and Hyatt. At one time the building was a way station for the cross country stage coaches before he bought it.

This information is from our files at the Tippecanoe Historical Museum. But we know from talking to people that there were many more groceries that we have no files on. We are asking anyone who remembers, and may even have pictures of, a grocery in their neighborhood to call or stop by with your information. We would like to document as many as


The Museum is on the corner of Dow and Third Streets. Hours are Wednesday from 2-4 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon or by appointment. Call Gordon at (937) 667-3051 or Susie at (937) 698-6798 with information or to ask questions.

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