City Grocery Company opened for business in Springfield on April 18, 1952. The business was co-owned by J.W. Exley Sr. and J.W. Exley Jr. It occupied the building at 101 North Laurel St. in Springfield, which is now occupied by Town and Country Dry Cleaners. This business followed the closing of Ingram’s Pharmacy at the same site.
Russell Pittman was manager of the store and Spurgeon (Butch) Hinely was in charge of the meat department. The old drug store had been painted and rearranged to offer “A Modern, New, Self Service, Cash and Carry Grocery Store” according to the April 18, 1952, edition of the Springfield Herald. The store offered groceries, fresh produce, meats, some dry goods including a line of Lee Clothing (jeans, overalls and jumpers) and a limited selection of hardware items.
The one-year anniversary of the store in a 1953 advertisement from the April 17,1953, Springfield Herald says that the past manager, Russell Pittman, would be on hand as well as the new manager, Arthur Exley, who is shown in the photographs. The ad boasted, “We have premium meats from the FFA Blue Ribbon Steer at regular prices with choice cuts at 75 cents lb.”
Many worked through the years of operation including: Carolyn N. Exley (now Seckinger), Louella Newton, Preston Weitman, Wilson Exley and Rev. Robert Swygert who was a summer pastor for the Bethel Lutheran Parish while in Seminary. (Let the HES know if you know of others.)
City Grocery closed in January 1955. There were several other grocery stores in business in Springfield at the time.
Many thanks to J. W. Exley Jr., Carolyn Seckinger and my father, Arthur Exley, for their help with this column.
This was written by Susan Exley of Historic Effingham Society. If you have comments, photos or information to share, please call her at 754-6681 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.