"Will That Be Paper Or Plastic?"
By Jon A. Brake
Remember the Handy Corner? No, not the new one on 11th and Laramie. The old
Handy Corner at 11th and Moro. Mr. Brown owned it.
Back in the ‘30’s, 40’s and 50’s you did not need a car to go to the
grocery store. First of all you didn’t buy ten sacks of groceries and you
only had to walk down the street a block or two.
Toby remembers the old neighborhood grocery. In fact at 89 he can still
tell you the address and owners of most of the stores. Toby is C.E. (Toby)
ToBuren. He said his name is Clifford, but no one would know him by that
name. Toby and his wife, Dorothy live at 708 Osage and he has been retired
Toby was born in 1910. His father was a builder. “My father built a lot of
houses for professors.” He said. The ToBurens first lived at 8th and
Freemont and Toby attended Avenue Grade School at 9th and Poyntz. That’s
the Manhattan High East Campus now.
“My first job was with F.W. Woolworth, store #821. It was a 5 & 10 cent
store in the 300 block of Poyntz.” Toby said. “I was 14 years old.”
In 1933, Toby went to work for Sam Saroff at Manhattan Fruit and Vegetable,
101 Poyntz. It was taken down to make way for the Manhattan Town Center in
the mid 1980’s.
“I started out as the nightman, we assembled things at night. We would
break down carrots, bananas, things like that.” Toby said. “We would get
them in by car load (train cars). If they were not ripe we would put them
in the ripping room. We would hang the bananas by ropes.”
Besides the fruits and vegetables, Toby said they would also get snakes,
spiders and scorpions with the fruits and vegetables.” They even found a
bull constrictor which they gave to KSU.
In 1936 Toby started to deliver the orders by truck. Most of his deliveries
were to the west of Manhattan: Junction City, Fort Riley, Abilene, Chapman.
In 1938 Toby went on the road as a salesman. This territory was west to
Clay Center, north to Marysville, east to St Marys and south to Alma.
Later, Toby met Dorothy, who worked for Southwestern Bell in Marysville.
After serving one year in the Navy during World War II, Toby worked several
years in Topeka. In 1950 he went back to work for Saroff, this time
selling to the Manhattan stores.
In 1954 Toby make a big change. He went to work for Western Grocery (again
at 101 Poyntz) but this time he sold can goods. He worked for Western,
later named Consolidated, until he retired in 1972.
Those were the days. The grocery store was a short walk from the house, and
they didn’t ask: “Will that be paper or plastic?”
Here are the Manhattan neighborhood grocery stores that Toby called
sell them fruits and vegetables. Later he sold them can goods:
Andersons Grocery 5th Street
A & A 301 Poyntz Avenue
A & P 4th & Humbolt
Avenue Grocery 16th Poyntz Avenue
Bottgers IGA 1221 Moro
Bluemont Street Grocery 6th & Bluemont
Baileys 100 Block South 3rd
Catlins 3rd & Thurston
Comptons 400 Yuma
Chastains (3 stores)
Aggieville, 400 block Poyntz Avenue, 300 block Poyntz Avenue
(Also one in Aggieville)
Coop Grocery 2nd St. & Pierre
Doeble IGA 2nd & Laramie
Fremont 925 Fremont Street
Ferlemens 218 Poyntz Avenue
Hillside 17th & Leavenworth
Krogers 518 Poyntz Avenue
Laramie St 16th & Laramie
Lomb's Claflin & Dennisen
Moores 420 Poyntz (Wareham Bldg.)
Nineth Street 516 N. 9th Street
O'Neals 1020 Kearney Street
Owl Grocery 9th & Pierre Street
Plumberg 320 S. 4th Street
Quality Market 312 Poyntz Avenue
R & G 17th & Yuma
Robinets Grocery 14th & Pierre
Smiths IGA 320 Poyntz Avenue
Safeway 4th & Humbolt/6th & Humbolt
Southside Grocery (Hansons) 611 Colorado
Thayer 12th Stree Grocery 12th & Kearney Street
12th Street Grocery 214 S. 12th Street
S & H Bakery 2nd & Yuma
Byrne Bakery 200 Block Poyntz
Johnsmeyer Bakery Aggieville
Barbem Pie Bakery Aggieville
For a short time a bakery at 17th & Poyntz - N.W. Corner
Wholesale Grocery - 101 Poyntz
Built in 1907 - Food - Lets - M - Jack Sprat - Consolidated Foods
Farm House Foods - Manhattan Fruit & Vegetable (later Sam Saroff
Sam Saroff & Company
Fleming Cash & Carry
Parry Packing Company
Wareham Ice & Wareham Telephone - Hotel
Smith's - Windows & Doors Manufacturing
3 Major Creamery's - John's, Chapple, City Dairy