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Canton Businesses in the Early 1900's

Since the first stores opened in Canton, there has been a continual change in buildings and in the ownership of the various businesses.  Most of the oldest store buildings have been town down for new structures or greatly altered, such as the old Newman building on the corner of Main, Sullivan and Lycoming streets.  Fires have also taken their toll, especially on the south side of Main street and on Troy street.  At any period in the history of Canton most stores have had different proprietors.  The following account by Eleanor Elliott details what businesses there were on Main, Troy, Sullivan and Lycoming streets early in the 20th century. This article appeared in The Canton Area Historical Society Newsletter, Number 11, August 1986.

When Rockwell's Mill Pond located just north of the old mill on Upper Mountain Road was the center of the skating activity you skated up the mill race to where it joined Mill Creek.

Bill Foster had a vegetable garden on Troy Street where the two stone houses and Gardner's Machine Shop now stand.

Giles Coons had a sawmill on Lower Mountain Road just west of the old Rockwell's Mill.  It was complete with splash dam and usual components.  The sawdust pile was as large as a barn.  Across the road from the sawmill was a building known as the "Bee Hive" which was originally built by Mr. Coons to house his teamsters.  The name "Bee Hive" was chosen because it was so active with so many people living there at one time.

Just below the "Bee Hive" was a big barn across Mill Creek where Mr. Coons kept his horses in conjunction with his mill operation.

The old Canton Foundry, which was operated by Al Wilson and Jim Mitchell (Mitchell was Pauline Northrup's grandfather), was located at the site of the present Rockwell's Mill. They did all types of custom casting.

There were two houses, owned by Squire Emerson Cleveland, which stood where Rockwell's drive is located.  They rented for $4.00 a month.

Mr. Tripp and his son ran a grocery store on the corner of Troy and Carson Streets near the old passenger stations.

Dobie Lynch guarded the railroad crossing with a red flag.  A ladies' waiting room was built on the passenger station with a ticket window and "No Smoking" signs, and no cuspidors.

Reaching from the passenger station to McIntosh Alley there was a lovely formal garden with flower beds and a formal hedge.  A caretaker, furnished by the railroad, came from Elmira each week and maintained the lawn in perfect condition.

Nate Pew, a black man, greeted all incoming passengers with "free bus rides" to the Packard House.

The freight station had to be enlarged to accommodate the goods manufactured in the plants of Canton.  This consisted of:  Belmar hangers, Gleckner harnesses and collars, Sheldon's tent stakes, map rollers, flag sticks, etc.  Later a ramp was built to unload "Model T" cars.

South of the freight station were the stockyards, complete with loading chutes and car loads of cattle, calves, and hogs which were shipped every week.

South of the stockyards was Reiley's Cider Mill where Preston's old mill still stands.

East Side of Troy Street.

Dr. T. H. Morse owned a large house on what is now "Morse Park" on the corner of Carson and Troy Streets.  A Mr. Black lived next door in the round house (now razed).

In later years Bob Rockwell had a grocery store in the next building.  Mel Leonard lived in the next house.  On the corner of Troy and Tioga Streets stood the Keystone barn, which was later razed, and a house built by Mrs. Tom Anderson.

On the opposite corner was T. Burke's home with iron fence and landscaped yard.  There was another house between one where Jimmy Brann lived.

Jimmy Brann ran a store on S. Union and Troy Streets.  It was later owned by Mike Brann (then Mike Brann built a brick house in later years).  Below Brann's store was Deafy Watts' store; Dr. Keeney house, Fox house, area of pine trees and shrubs (later the Schmick Bldg.), Bill Jones' home, Bailey Marble Works, Hills Music Store, (Jack Roenitz started his first business here) where you could buy pianos, organs, and the latest cylinder records.  They had phonographs for $5.95.  Next door was George Patterson's furniture repair shop.  He made pickup and delivery with a 2-wheel pushcart.  Mert Landon's Meat Market was next door.  Next was Clayton's tin shop where he made milk pails, quart cups, funnels, etc.  Later this became the first A & P store opened by Bill Murtz.  Next house was owned by Morses of Leroy, later converted to a two-family house, and is now a barber shop and residence.  Mr. Haxton owned the next house by the old fire-building now razed.  Next was the Borough Building (now the V.F.).  Next to the fire house Walt Coons had a 5 & 10 cent store, later a restaurant run by Anna Darling.  Then the Canton House Hotel run by "Daddy Ernst," and later by Milo Struble.  It had a pool room and bowling alley run by Charles Hawkins, later by Sam McDonald.  The barbershop was run by Frank Rundell, and later by Jack Leischman and Ed Hawkins.  Leischman was the brother-in-law and partner of Frank Rundell after he returned from the Spanish American War.  He is buried at Arlington Cemetery.  At the Fox House Jim McKay ran a wash tub and laundry in it.  Later Jim McKay bouthe the Park Hotel.

West Side of Troy Street.

The Keystone Hotel, later Gus Krise coal yard, and later Robert Krise Garage.  Jim Mitchell's orchard stood where Swayze's old factory now stands.  Jim Mitchell had a house next.  George Lewis owned the next house, followed by the Disciple Church which stood where Swayze's water tank now stands.

The railroad company decided to build an overhead crossing on West Union Street.  A great portion of the dirt was used to fill the lot on the corner of Troy and E. Union Streets on which Jimmy Brann built a house.

Herrick Thomas owned a mansion on the opposite corner (where Moore Service Station now stands).  He also owned a big barn facing West Union Street where Elwin Allen and Tommy Green barreled apples every fall.

The next house was built by Squire Emerson Cleveland.  The house originally stood in Minnequa Heights.  It was built and owned by Judge Oakley, which was his summer home for many years.  (Judge Oakley was from Boston).  After his death the home was sold for taxes.  Squire Cleveland bought the house for approximately $175.00.  He let a contract to Grandpa Terry and three boys to dismantle the reassemble it on its present site exactly as it formerly existed.  The sum of the contract was $300.00 for the complete transfer.

The Park Hotel had a white picket fence in front and was run by a Mr. Lancaster, followed by Jim McKay and later by Chick Smith.

Giles Coons had a planing mill (where the post office now stands) Fay Rundell was manager.  Coons also owned a house next to it.

Stan Lyons owned and operated a grocery store just below the mill.  On the second floor was a photography gallery run by a Mr. Wright.

Below Stan Lyon's grocery store stood a house where Mate Andru lived.  A big livery stable in back was run by Arin Finner.  The old George Bullock house stood back from Troy Street (behind where Wheeler's Restaurant now stands).  An open field was below this where the merry-go-round and medicine  shows, etc. made their usual appearances in Canton.

Dominick Fitzpatrick had a little shoe store and Cobbler shop next. (An open field then).  O. L. Fields had a restaurant and a store next door to where the Canton Bar & Grill is located.  Dick O'Donnell lived in a house which was razed to build the Crist building.  Cann Sharp had a jewelry store next door.  He later owned his father's funeral business.  Next was Arch Stevens' pool room.  Ed Ogden & Allen had a hardware and machinery store and later sold to Levi Root.  On the corner by the alley Will Tripp and son Deville ran a grocery store.  In back was Manning Wilson's blacksmith shop.

J. O. Whitman owned a pharmacy next to the alley.  The telephone exchange, which was the first Canton & Leroy Telephone Company, was in back.  The Telephone Company later moved to the second floor of the Bullock Building.

Burke, Thomas & Company owned the building next door where they had a dry goods and grocery store.

Harry Burrows had a barber shop and Jake Linderman had a cleaning and pressing shop on the second floor.  When Linderman went out of business Zimmerman opened a tailor shop.  Burke's horse sheds were in back of the store.  The Canton Illuminating Co. was located where the parking lot is at the rear of Baldwin's Hardware.

South Side of Main Street.

On the south side of Main Street on the corner of Sullivan Street, Harry Hendelman came to Canton and opened a rug store, and late he converted to dry goods and ladies' furnishings.

The next building was the Bullock Block which housed the First National Bank which later moved to the Lewis Building.  After the Bank moved, G. E. Newman opened a drugstore, then opened a grocery store with Hull & Mitchell.  Theodore Pierce had a hardware store next door.

Next door to the Bullock Block was W. W. Whitman Drug Store with Bell Telephone switch board and Postal Telegraph Office in the back.  J. P. Goldstein's Men and Boys' Store was in the Odd Fellows Building.  Dr. J. W. Parsons office was on the second floor and the Lodge hall was on the third floor.

Next was an alley with access to the Canton Jail and livery stable in the rear.  The Jail was a one-cell brick building with a wood stove.  Dud McCraney was the sole police force.  Next to the alley was Bacon & Ronan Men's Store, later owned and operated by Claude Biddle; then Bacon & Ronan's Dry Goods and Groceries.  Brann's Block was next with Brann's Meat Market and Bill Douglas' Bakery.  Next to this building was Lincoln Stone's Jewelry Store.  He was also booker and ticket seller for the Lewis Opera House.  Next was the Lewis Building which housed Shannon's Ladies Shop, Post Office, First National Bank and Lindley & Ronan on the first floor; on the second floor was office and opera house; and on the third floor was the balcony for the opera house and assembly hall.

Roger & Collins had an undertaking store in the next building.  It had three wide steps.  Fights were held in the basement of the Roger and Collins building.

Fred and Will Tripp had a hardware store on the corner in the New Block 3-store building.  Next was Tom Will's picture show.  Daisy Channel had a millinery shop next door (later Ida Benson & Mrs. English Millinery Shop).

Next to the drive before the hotel, Stalford had a novelty store which was later owned by Mert Barrow.  Later the old 3-store wood Central Hotel, with three wood porches across the front, was razed and replaced by the brick Packard Hotel.  Leischer Ross moved his meat market to the other side of the hotel.  The next two buildings was u???? was Tom Tebo's Restaurant.  Ham sandwiches, bowl of bean, and all pieces of pie were 5 cents each.  On Saturday nights he served special chicken dinners with mashed potatoes, baking powder biscuits, all for 20 cents.  There was Kay Fletcher's Jewelry Store which late became Margaret Ryan's Millinery Shop.  Wolf's Tailor shop was next, then the Canton Shoe Store.  Harry Griffen was proprietor, John Hart cobbler, and Tommy Anderson was salesman.  Men's button shoes were all the rage with the younger generation and cost $3.00 to a maximum of $5.00 a pair.  The shoe store was on the corner of Main and Center Streets.  To the rear was the Canton Sentinel in the same building.  Charles Derrah was editor.  On the other corner of Main and Center Streets was the Village Green with a bandstand a later addition.  Arm chairs were furnished; so it was sort of a grand stand seat to watch all of the activities.

Across the alley was Hugh Crawford's house, then the office for a feed and lumber company.  It had a big wagon scale in front in the road for weighing the loads.  Next was a big lot with pine trees and shrubbery, later occupied by the Crawford Theater.  There was a house next to the lot with pine and shrub (now the location of the police department, etc.).  Next was the Krise Harness Shop on the first floor and Joe Mason's Cigar Factory on the second floor.

Sullivan Street - East Side (About 1900)

1.  "Boney" Peterson's Barbershop
2.  Gleckner Mfg.
3.  Prestons (Where Reynards was)
4.  E. J. Cleveland law office (Moose Bldg.)
5.  Dunbar & Hartranft Buggy Shop (Built and repaired)
6.  Ad Beale's house
7.  Milt Close - Blacksmith and Carpet Cleaner
8.  ----- house
9.  Charles Cease's Blacksmith Shop

Sullivan Street - West Side

1.  Ed Adam's Shoe Shop
2.  Westgate Wagon Shop
3.  Steve and Ben Adam's Blacksmith Shop
4.  Asa Stull Livery Stable

Lycoming Street - South

1.  Corner - Newman Building - Bly Davidson Pharmacy
2.  Floyd Crist Harness Shop
3.  Tom Green Harness Shop and Farm Machinery
4.  Smith Tailor Shop
5.  Old Opera House & Skating Rink - Werline Livery Stable

--Mrs. Robert Elliott [Own name not given - sorry]

In a Directory of Canton published in 1902, the following paragraph is included:

The town has the finest Opera House in Bradford county, an excellent Bank, six Churches, three good hotels, flouring mills, lumber and planing mills, three manufacturers of wood and wire novelties, a fine Electric Light plant, a cigar factory, a tannery, a system of water works, an energetic Fire Company, a wise and conservative Borough Council, a progressive School Board and one of the best public schools in the state.

It is difficult to tell how accurate this directory is and whether any businesses have been omitted.  In the attempt to ascertain what businesses there were in 1902 every effort has been made to include all of them, but my apologies if any have been omitted.  Because some stores sold an odd variety of products, it is difficult to classify some stores.  The following is a list of stores and businesses in Canton in 1902:

There were one each of cold storage plant; monuments; livery; telephone company; baker; wagon repairer; music store; harness maker; photographer; foundry; wagons and harness; barber shop; builder; general merchandise; two each of:  dry goods; butcher; newspapers; jewelery, coal dealer, laundry, insurance; hardware; tailor; three each of:  shoe store, grocery; druggist; and five dentists.

Canton Business

As all communities need industries to serve its people with employment and goods, it also needs businesses of all kinds, such as stores, hotels, banks, utilities, and a healthy news media, to keep its citizens supplied with all those things necessary to survive in a civilized manner, and to be well informed on the happenings of the day.

While many business enterprises only survive for a year or two before ceasing operations, some are able to continue because they have a product everybody needs and wants, and because the owners keep abreast of the times and make changes when necessary, and are honest and accommodating to their customers.  Of the many businesses that have been started in Canton, a few have survived over a long period and deserve special mention.

Burk, Thomas Co. Established 1867
Quality Dairy Butter Important Trade Item

In the month of May in the year 1867, three young men from Troy, Pa., came to Canton, opened a store and started doing business under the name of Burk, Thomas & Co., the predecessors of T. Burk & Co.

T. Burk whose home was in Canton was a clerk in a store in Troy as was also E. H. Thomas.  A. D. Williams was the son of a farmer living near Troy.

In the year 1867 Canton did not have a store that bought farmers' produce and the farmers around this section were obliged to travel to Troy.  The firm of Burk, Thomas & Co. expanded rapidly and soon had the business that formerly went to Troy.

In that day and for many years, this section was noted for its quality dairy butter which this concern shipped to city markets in large quantities.

From the tax list of 1867 we find listed 347 names in Canton township; 60 names in Alba borough; 80 names in Armenia township; 223 names in Leroy township; 308 in Granville township and 360 in Troy township.

In 1897 Mr. Williams retired and the business was continued under the name of Burk, Thomas & Co. until the retirement of E. H. Thomas in 1903.  At that time it was changed to T. Burk & Co. and has continued to operate under that name.

The present owners are Robert S. and Thomas S. Burk.

Rexall Store Began Business in 1875
First Home Was in the Newman Building

One of the early stores in Canton is the Rexall Drug Store which started business about 1875 under the name of Newman and Davison in the old Newman building at the corner of Lycoming and Sullivan streets.

Later B. J. Davison went into the business for himself and G. E. Newman joined with Fred Hull and William Mitchell to form the firm of Newman, Hull and Mitchell.  Messrs. Hull and Mitchell conducted a grocery business in part of the building now occupied by the Acme Market and Mr. Newman operated the drug business in the part of the building which had formerly been used as a bank and still contained the vault.  Mr. Newman made his own ice cream from real cream and had the first soda fountain in Canton.  We have first hand information that the ice cream and sodas in those days were extra special.

Several years later the partnership was dissolved and Mr. Newman moved his drug business across the street to the former Hendelman building, on the site of the present Ben Franklin Store.  It was there that a Liggett salesman first interested Mr. Newman in Rexall and he was very proud of the fact that he was one of the first druggists in the United Sates to become affiliated with the Rexall Company.  Mr. Newman attended the Rexall Convention whenever possible and was honored as one of the oldest members in his later years.

About 28 years ago Mr. Newman bought the present Rexall Store building from J. O. Whitman and moved his business there where he continued to operate the store until his death.  Mr. Newman's heirs conducted the Rexall Drug Store until July 1, 1941 when it was bought by William R. Most, the present owner.

B. H. Westgate served his apprenticeship at this store, later going to Towanda.  Mr. Westgate was manager of the Canton store after Mr. Newman died, until it was purchased by Mr. Most.  Among those serving apprenticeships are Howard Reynolds, Sayre; Ralph Johnson and at the present time John Moran of Ralston.

Mr. Most had installed all the latest merchandising methods and has advantage of the newest in promotion from the nationwide Rexall system.

Prestons Inc. Opened in 1881 on Sullivan Street

Michael Preston, as a young man, had taught country schools and enjoyed it.  But now, as an older man, in his early twenties, he found himself unable to shake a desire to go into some sort of business for himself.

So it was, that, in 1881, Michael Preston bought a two-story wooden building on Sullivan Street on the spot where Clifford Reynard now owns and conducts his business.  Michael Preston started in a small way, largely on a necessary trading and credit basis.

In those early days of Canton's history business was conducted almost entirely on a trading post method.  Farmers then as now, and lumbermen were the sturdy fiber of Canton's good business and prosperity.  The thrifty farmers of those days were almost completely able to supply all their own needs on their own farms.  There was no demand for canned vegetables and meat.  They raised their own.  Some farmers' wives even wove their own cloth to a certain extent.

They never thought of going to a store for bread flour; farmers loaded the harvested corn, wheat and buckwheat into their farm wagons and drove to the mills to have it ground into flour.

They sheared their own sheep on the farm and brought in the wool to the stores in tied bundles.  They brought in their eggs, butter, wood and lard (made in the late fall on the farm in kitchens redolent of the melting fat).  For all of these farm products young Michael Preston would give credit or exchange.  Farmers of that era bought only what their farms could not produce - oil, sugar, (to augment their maple sugar supplies) axes, farm tools, glass lamp chimneys and oil lanterns - boots, shoes, calicos, muslin and clothing.  Oranges and lemons were sometimes available in season.  Grapefruit was unheard of.  In those days apples were fruit.

Frozen foods were yet to be dreamed of.  Spices came in bulk.  Crackers and oil came in barrels.  So did sugar, both brown and white.  There were no paper bags.  Desired quantities were weighed then spread on heavy brown paper and carefully wrapped and tied with string.

Michael Preston's trading post business grew and prospered, partly because he was thoroughly honest and a good business man and partly because he was genuinely interested in his neighbors.  He knew every farmer and every farm in the valley and on the mountain slopes for miles around and he was sincerely interested in their welfare and serving their needs.

As the years went by merchandise was added to meet the changing conditions and needs of the surrounding communities.  Farmers began to prefer factory made denim and woolen work clothing.  There was also a growing demand for cattle feeds, so the young merchant stocked men's clothing, built a warehouse on the Pennsylvania Railroad on McIntosh Alley and carted bags of feed to the back rooms of his store.  If larger quantities were needed farmers' wagons were loaded at the warehouse.  In those early days bran and wheat feeds were the principle shipped in.  Little thought was given to balanced rations.  Chickens were not supposed to lay i the winter time.  Horses and cows were fed some bran along with homegrown grain.

In 1898 a serious fire broke out on Sullivan street in the wooden building that housed M. C. Preston's business.  The building was partly destroyed.  It was then that Michael Preston built the double-brick block building which now stands and which is owned and occupied by Clifford Reynard.  In the year 1900, after the completion of the new building, Michael Preston was joined in the business by his younger brother, John J. Preston, who, after teaching schools in Tioga County had managed company stores in Clymer, Pa.

The two Preston brothers (the oldest and the youngest of Daniel and Mary Wynne Preston's eleven children) moved merchandise into the South side of their new brick building.  W. W. Gleckner and Co., leather workers and harness manufacturers occupied the ground floor of the northern half of the building.  Charles E. bullock, Canton attorney, established his law offices on the second floor.  Part of the second floor was also occupied by the Joseph B. Mason Cigar factory.  There he manufactured special rolled cigars.

Eventually W. W. Gleckner and Co. built a new factory to house their growing business farther down Sullivan street, and Preston Brothers occupied both sides of the building.

In 1916, Preston Brothers bought the old Stull livery stable on Sullivan Street, tore down the old wooden building, and built the first public automobile garage in Bradford County.  They aptly named it "The Bradford County Garage."  It is now operated by Carool VanNoy.

It was built for and according to specification requested by Galen Williams and John Whitman who had been selling the very first new cars in the I.O.O.F. Barn, once a livery stable, and which is not owned and occupied by Carrol Smith operator of a large fleet of trucks carrying eggs and poultry to markets.

About the year 1914, Preston Brothers bought the stock of the Canton Shoe Store operated by Edward Innes in a building which stood on the site of the later Farmers National Ban Building, and now owned and occupied by the Canton and Leroy Farmers Telephone Co.

At this point Lee Preston enters the picture.  All of Michael Preston's boys had been requested to help in the store in their leisure hours, packing eggs, weighing dried beans and sugar, sweeping floors, sacking potatoes and a hundred other odd jobs crying for attention in a small town grocery store.  One by one the Preston boys had finished High School and gone on to College establishing themselves in various professions.  After attending Dickinson Seminary, now Lycoming College in Williamsport, Lee Preston, a boy of 19, returned to Canton to become the manager of the newly purchased shoe store.

Three years later this business was moved to the corner block on Sullivan, Lycoming and Main streets, now known as the Jayson Building.  Lee Preston conducted business there until 1917, the first World War had broken upon a shocked world and Lee Preston enlisted in the armed services.  The shoe store was sold to Anderson Bunn.

In the year 1911, Preston Brothers had acquired land and buildings on the north side of West Union St. known as Riley Mill Property.  The new owners proceeded to build new cement storage bins and enlarged the mill building, added new grinding equipment, including special buckwheat processing equipment and installed a new gasoline engine for power.  Preston's Mills have through the years been under the management of Solon Andrews, Perry Blaney and Floyd Taylor.

In 1919 Lee Preston bought out his father's interest in the business.  The partnership was changed to a corporation in 1925 and the name Preston Brothers known throughout the countryside for so many years was changed to Preston's Inc.

In the year 1929 Preston's Inc. bought the old Rose Block in Mansfield, Pa. and established a branch store there carrying the same line of merchandise as in the main store in Canton. John J. Preston eventually moved his family to Mansfield and operated the Mansfield branch.

James Preston, son of John Preston, had been associated with the store since his college days and he now assumed more active responsibility.  He has managed the Mansfield Branch for a number of years and is continuing the business in Mansfield since the death of his father, John J. Preston, in March 1950.

In a period of seventy years Preston's Inc. has grown from a small trading post venture started by a boy just out of his teens, assisted by one employee, a still younger boy, to a corporation of varied interests and merchandise with an employee role, averaging 15 to 20 persons.

For many years Lewis Moody was a competent and trusted employee.  Those were the days when stores were kept open every evening and deliveries of groceries and feeds were made by horse drawn wagon until none o'clock at night.  From almost complete self-supporting economy Canton's surrounding farms have changed to a dollar economy.  Instead of having their wheat and corn ground for flour they sell for cash and buy Pillsbury or some other nationally advertised brand.  Instead of trading home rendered lard and churned butter for cloth and shoes and sugar they sell their pork and eggs and butter.  Their milk is sold to creameries and for their cash returns they buy packaged tin and federally inspected foods.

As the country's economy has changed so have the community needs changed.  The present firm of Preston's Inc. desires to serve canton's farming community and towns-people, in this new and so called atomic age, with the same sincere and friendly manner in which young Michael Preston started his trading post venture back in the early days of 1881.

C. F. Biddle A Pioneer Merchant
This Esteemed Citizen a Credit to Community

C. F. Biddle, founder of Biddle's Men's Store on Main Street, began his retail career at the age of sixteen with the Bacon & Ronan Dry Goods firm, well remembered by many of the older residents of this area.

He spent 64 years in retail stores, all in Canton with the exception of a three months period with a Portsmouth, Ohio firm.  Starting as a stock boy with Bacon & Ronan, he subsequently became manager of their men's clothing department.

In 1911, he purchased this department from Bacon & Ronan and opened his own store at the present site.  His sister Goldie Biddle held and interest in the store until l1921.  The store name at that time was C. F. Biddle & Co.  Since 1921, Mr. Biddle has been sole owner.

Associated with Mr. Biddle in the operation of the store at the present time is Mark L. Nailen who has been with Mr. Biddle for 27 years, Phil Biddle employed for 25 years, and Keith L. Mosier with the store since the close of World War II.

The staff is engaged in a constant search for good values in Men's and Boys' wear to offer to the people in Canton trading area.  The store hopes to grow as the community grows.

Krise Insurance Agency Established Here In 1892

G. F. Krise Insurance Agency was established in 1892 as the Krise and Jewell Agency with offices in the Bullock block on Main Street.  In 1903 Mr. Krise bought out S. H. Jewell and built his office in an alley located between a building owned by his father, C. A. Krise, and the Borough building.

G. F. Krise conducted the Insurance business for more than 50 years and it is the oldest Agency in Bradford Co. owned and conducted by the same family.

--Canton Independent Sentinel Anniversary Issue 1950

Grocery Stores and Meat Markets

Changes in business patterns have taken place in all communities and in all businesses, and the grocery business in Canton is no exception.  Corner grocery stores were common during the first part of the 20th century, and super markets were almost nonexistent.  The early part of the century saw several small family grocery stores throughout the borough.  Darling's, and later Fulkerson's grocery was on the corner of Carson and Troy Streets on the east side of the railroad tracks, Rockwell's grocery was on Troy Street across from the Krise garage, on the corner of Troy and Union Streets was a grocery operated by M. J. Brann, and later by Olin Smith as a Red and White store.  In the main business district grocery stores were even more plentiful.  They included Trippe's.  L. G. Thomas, Preston's, Stull's, The Market Basket, The A. and P., and Smith's Red and White store on Sullivan Street.

One by one these small family groceries were forced to close, either by retirement of the owners or for a lack of business, and supermarkets took their place.

Another change to take place was the delivery of groceries.  Larry Biddle's small delivery truck was a common sight on the streets of Canton at one time.  He delivered groceries from the various stores to customers who wanted them delivered.  He also delivered meat for the local meat markets.  Before modern refrigeration was available, grocery stores sold only grocery items and Brann's, H. T. Ross and Packard's meat market sold the meat.  Instead of buying all of their meat from a large meat packing corporation, they operated their own slaughter house and bought animals from the local farmers.

Alba, Grover, East Canton, West Leroy and Leroy each had one or more general merchandise stores, but the automobile, supermarkets and the many chains of discount stores brought about the end of the locally owned general merchandise store.

--Roger M. Keagle

Photo Caption - page 178p:
This is one of Canton's first stores.  It stood on the corner of Main and Center Streets, near where the Canton & Leroy Farmer's Telephone building now stands.  This picture was taken from an old Ambrotype made about 1856, which was an unusually good picture for an outdoor street scene made that early.
Photo Caption - page 179p:
The Newman Building
This stood on the southwest corner of Main and Sullivan Streets.
Photo Caption - page 180p:
This building stood on the corner of Main and Sullivan Streets, and was taken about 1858.  The man in the light suit is John Griffin, grandfather of Mrs. Lee Clark.  The building was occupied by Mix and Hooper who came here from Ithaca, N.Y.  John Mix and John Hooper were tailors and were brothers-in-law.  Mix was the grandfather of Mrs. Dr. Ammon.  John Cooper was Mrs. Lee Brooks' father.  (He stands in the doorway)  (Mix is at the left).  Both gave up tailoring on account of eye strain.  Mix went into business with W. Wh.Whitman (Mix and Whitman) where Beam's Drug Store was located.
Photo Caption - page 181p:
Burk Thomas Company Store about 1880.  Perry Wheeler is the man seated in the center, and Tom Leahy and Ben Adams are also in the picture.

The bottom photo shows Burk Thomas Store and the Bullock Block on Troy Street.  W. J. Tripp occupies the lower part and a Harness Shop in the upper part.

Photo Caption - page 182p:
This out of focus photograph shows the owners and clerks of Burk, Thomas & Co. in 1870.

Front row, left to right:  Harry Newman, Ted Burk, Ancel Williams, Herrick Thomas and Frank Sechrist.

Back row, left to right:  Dan Shannon, Tom Fassett and Will Shannon.

Photo Caption - page 183p:
Looking north from the Square.  The Canton House is on the right with the theater and the L. E. Root building on the left.
Above - Northwest Main Street early 1900s
Photo Caption - page 185p:
This photograph shows the building on the corner of Troy and Union Streets.  It was once owned by Horatio Parsons who operated a cabinet shop there, making caskets and other items of cabinetry.  This photograph was probably taken about 1900 and shows Mike Brann operating a grocery store there.  James Brann ran the store before Mike took it over.  Later in the 20th century it was operated as a Red and White Store by Olen Smith, and at present it is owned by Olen Smith, Jr.
Photo Caption - page 186p:
The Bullock Block About 1900
This shows Hull Brothers grocery store with insurance agents upstairs.  The fountain is frozen solid.
Photo Caption - page 187p:
The upper photo shows Main Street looking west shortly after the turn of the century.  The Lewis building has been completed but the Farmers National Bank has not been built.  Burk's store is shown in the distance.  The street has not been paved yet and the horse and buggy is the mode of transportation.

The bottom photo was taken about the same time and shows the Canton Bakery wagon on Main street looking east.

Page 188
Photo Caption:  Main Street looking east:  On the left is Mrs. F. J. Channell Millinery; M. L. Barrow; Packard Hotel and the Grille.  On the right is Goldstein's and Bacon and Ronan clothing stores.  These photos were taken about the turn of the century.  The watering trough is still in use and the street still unpaved.  This photo was taken about 1907.
Page 189
Photo Caption:  189A This photo compliments of Crawford Holmes
Hand written:  Rialto.  Canton, PA, 1933
Page 189B
Photo - no caption
Page 189 
Photo Caption:  Main Street looking east about 1900.
Page 190
Photo - no caption.  Sign on the Building:  Lindley Ronan & Co. Hardware
Page 191
Photo - no caption.  Sign on the Building:  W. H. Collins.  Furniture & Undertaking

Page 192
Photo Caption:  These three stores, plus three more to the west, are all that remain of the older stores on the south side of Main Street.  The Lewis building was immediately to the left, or east of these stores, and all of the buildings from the IOOF building westward, or to the right, were destroyed by fire.  On the left is a shoe store, in the middle a meat market, and J. P. Goldstein's clothing and show store is on the right.  The proud proprietors are standing in front of their stores.  A barber shop is located above the Goldstein clothing store.  This photograph was taken about 1895.

Page 193
Photo Caption:  First National Bank Building.  Canton, PA.  The upper photo shows the Lewis building as it appeared in the 1920's and 30's.  The First National Bank occupies the first floor and the Farmers National Bank occupies the building on the right of the photo.  The lower photo shows the building built by the First National Bank after the Lewis Building burned.  This photo was taken in 1992.

Page 194
Photo Caption:  The Bullock Block as it appeared in the 1920's and 30's.  On the left is the entrance to Dr. E. C. Ottoson's Dentist rooms, Dewey's photograph and toilet goods store, the Grand Union grocery store, and a radio shop on the right.  C. H. Donovan's law office is on the second floor.  The lower photo shows the Troy National Bank building which was built on the same land where the Bullock Block once stood.  This photo was taken in 1992.

Page 195
Photo Caption:  The Krise Harness Shop about 1905.  Joe Mason's Cigar Factory occupies the east side of the building with apartments on the upper floor.  The bottom photo shows the same building in the distance and the Rialto theater and Wynne's hardware store.  The Krise Harness Shop building was later used for Collins and Stull Furniture Store and later taken over by the Morse Furniture Store.

Page 196
Photo Caption:  This upper photo shows the IOOF building in 1906 with Goldstein's clothing store on the first floor.  The building is draped with bunting for some festive occasion.  Bacon and Ronan occupy the building on the left, with a store selling Drugs, Medicine and Stationary on the right.  The street is unpaved and B. Ayers Livery and Feed sign is between the two buildings.  The lower photo was taken in the 1950's or 60's from the appearance of the two automobiles.  Biddle's clothing store now occupies the store where Bacon and Ronan once occupied and the livery sign has been taken down.  Also the sin and parapet over the drug store has been removed, but it is now the Canton Pharmacy.  Brann's Meat Market now is in the first floor of the IOOF building where Goldstein's Clothing Store was in the upper photo.

Page 197
Photo Caption:  Looking north up Troy Street from the Square in the 1940's and 50's.

Page 198
Photo Caption:  Two views of Main Street in the 1960's.

Tri-Counties Page 16150

Bradford County PA
Chemung County NY
Tioga County PA

Published On Tri-Counties Site On 21 July 2008
By Joyce M. Tice
Email: Joyce M. Tice

The History Center on Main Street, 83 N. Main Street, Mansfield PA 16933