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Nebraska City News-Press - Nebraska City, NE
  • Syracuse says farewell to neighborhood market

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  • The closing of Syracuse Shur Save grocery store is the end of a business that has been in the community for more than a century.
    In the late 1800s, when Syracuse was a new, growing community, Hans Larson owned a store (currently Amy Sadle Art Studio) and ran a hardware business.  He widened the store adding the building to the east of the studio.  That east building eventually became White’s Grocery.  Richard G White owned the store at the location as early as the 1930s.
    According to “A Centennial History of Syracuse” by Margaret Masters, the Syracuse Journal Democrat, of March 31, 1933, carried an advertisement for White’s Grocery offering 48 pounds of flour for 65 cents and Red Salmon for 15 cents a large can.
    Harold Kramer later purchased the store from White.  Harold’s grocery store operated at the previous location until 1959 when it moved to the store’s last location of Shur Save.  A faint outline of the “Harold’s” sign can still be seen on the building.
    When he was still in high school, Bill Farmer began working for Harold in 1954.  He continued working there until he graduated and joined the service.  Bill remembers that it was “clear back in the cream and egg days.  That’s when they (customers) brought their cream and eggs over to the creamery and did their shopping.”
    After his return from his military service, Bill went back to work at Harold’s grocery store.  In 1967, the east addition was purchased and the doorways created to join the buildings.  It was then that a corporation was formed, and Bill began purchasing shares of the business.
    At Harold’s retirement, Bill acquired full ownership and continued to run the store as Harold’s.  He spent a total of 22 years running the store (around 30 years total in the business), and he appreciates that time in his life.  Bill said, “The grocery business was good to me.”
    Terry Scheinost, owner of the only remaining grocery store in town, worked for Bill when he was in high school.  
    Dale Seelhoff, who managed the Shur Save store from Bill’s retirement to its closing, also worked at Harold’s for Bill in high school.
    Bill Farmer sold the store to Les and Jack Gilbert of Elmwood in 1989.  Five years later, the store was purchased by Russ and Clayton Kent from Crete.  
    At that time, the name was changed to “Shur Save,” but it continued to be managed by Dale Seelhoff.
    Thank you to Bill Farmer, Lael Spaeth, Shirley Giffert, Amy Sadle, Dale Seelhoff, and Margaret Masters’ “A Centennial History of Syracuse” for helping with the history of this business and its place in Syracuse history.
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