|Because You Asked . . . .|
Freem Hill, Harlem Huckster around 1904
Store on Wheels Made a Country Day
|I would like to say I remember hucksters but my knowledge is second hand. My mother spent summer vacation
on the farm with her aunt and remembers the peppermint candy sticks she got from the huckster.
When Dad visited his grandparents' farm near South Condit, he also got a stick of candy. I possess a coffee maker (metal drip
kind) which the Willison's brought from a huckster. Essa Willison told of waiting by the road
all afternoon for sight of the wagon coming down the road.
In 1969, Bill Whitney ran a feature in The Sunbury News on W. F. "Freem" Hill, a huckster from Harlem Township. The picture and facts in the story came from Hill's daughter, Mrs. Paul Solms of Dayton. Rather than rewrite his article, I'll use excerpts from it.
Bill Whitney wrote:
What is a huckster wagon? This question has been asked of the News many times by younger people who never enjoyed a visit by this variety store on wheels. Storekeepers operating hucksters stocked them with nearly all the necessities of life and made regular trips to rural homes where the housewife would buy the staples that she needed to go with her home-made food to keep her pantry or buttery full until the huckster made his next trip.
The huckster also bought eggs, butter, and poultry from the housewife. The News editor says that he spent
many boyhood days with his grandparents near South Condit and the hucksters visit was a big event as the man
running the store on wheels always gave him a stick of candy.
Some of the customers of Hills General Store were these families: Scott Root, Glad Goldsberry, Dock Williams, Bert Cook, Frank Paul, A. D. "Kathy" Budd, Frank Fravel, Mathilda Williams, H. Mullen, Hattie Budd, Lee Searles, Milton Sines, Sherman Williams, whose son, John, came to the store as a salesman for a grocery company, Ed Buck, Otto Reeb, Glen Budd, Dick Fairchilds, D. Mann, "Tuck" Borden, Kelly Adams and the Tuller family.
Boys Met in Store
Scott Root, 92, of Harlem said, "Sure 'I remember Hill's Store. I don't hear to good over the phone so I'll let my daughter talk with Scott told the News editor. Mrs. Scholl told she surely remembers the store. "Gilbert Fravel was always sitting on the porch of the store and plagued us children. We called him Uncle Gil and went to the end of the porch away from him when we went to the store. My husband helped tear the old store building down," Mrs. Scholl told the News.
Besides groceries Mr. Hill usually stocked two bolts of calico and maybe one or two of outing flannel, thread, pins, needles, socks, and work gloves. Mrs. Solms says, "I don't-remember of any hardware but probably chewing tobacco."
The News is grateful to Mrs. Solms for this picture and information and I am grateful for this opportunity to learn about a way of life I was not privy to experience.
Throughout this month, Community Library is featuring Harlem Township in the display cases which flank the Burrer Memorial Room. The Harlem Township Ohio Bicentennial Committee is publishing the history of the township which will be ready for the Pig Roast and Potluck in August 2003.
. . . .And Now You
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