Reed’s Food Center — Fred Brown Building – 1915

Reed’s Food Center is in the original 1915 building built by Fred Brown, who divided it into two spaces.  In the past 105 years, a variety of businesses have occupied the south and north sections of Brown’s building.  Ben Hardin not only owned the store south (Pinnacle Bank now) of Fred’s building, he also owned the land that Brown was building on.  (Occupation dates, if known, are listed in front of the businesses (italicized) that have been located in Brown’s building.)  

South Space

  • 1919–Fred Brown’s Arnold Pharmacy followed by John Long and Jennings Stockham’s Furniture and Hardware store (sold to Linn and EJ Downing); 
  • 1919-1937—Brothers, William and Alva Worrell, came in from their south table farms to buy Brown’s building, opened a hardware store, then leased it to H. R. Proffett and Jud Schoenthal.  Mr. and Mrs. Chester McIntyre ran the P&S Funeral Home in the back of the P&S Hardware Store (1926-1928) stating that in two years a record number of deaths (41) had occurred.; 
  • 1937-1940Harold Goings’ Hardware;
  • 1940-1941— Robert Spargo bought Goings’ stock for his first Hardware store and lived in the back.; 
  • 1941— Jack Headly moved his Food Center Grocery from the Vogel building renaming it Jack and Jill.  
  • Circa 1964— Delbert Snyder bought the south half of the store for his grocery business.  

North Space:  

  • Circa 1918 Fred Brown’s Pharmacy with Arthur Witthuhn as Pharmacist; 
  • 1922-1924Amos and Annie Ervin’s Isis Theater
  • 1924— Used mainly for roller skating; 
  • 1925-1938William Conrad Mercantile
  • Up to 1947–occupants came and went including Roddy McIsaac’s Appliance store; 
  • 1947-1958— Rex McKain and Paul Hartman bought McIsaac’s Arnold Appliance Store; (Hartman had a couple of firsts while he was running his Hartman’s Appliance Store.  The first TV program in the country came in on Paul Hartman’s set in 1953.  He was first again in 1957 with his color TV.)  
  • 1958-mid 1960s–A few years before selling out his drug store business, Frances Hughes moved his Drug Store (from Mainstreet Shop) across the street, then sold it to Peggy Croghan who operated her Sundry for three years;  
  • OTHER POSSIBLE INFORMATION TO BE VERIFIED:  Delbert Snyder moved from Shelton in 1958 and had worked in a Jack and Jill store there working with Jack Headly in Arnold in 1958… perhaps through 1964, according to Rod Knapp.
  • 19751978Barb and Harvey Foran opened the Western Auto Store, a sundry space, in 1975 after the building remained unused for several years.  

John Reed and Gary Suhr bought the south half from Delbert Snyder in August of 1979.  Reed and Suhr also acquired the adjoining store and removed the dividing wall opening their store for business on September 9, 1979.  

The store was remodeled in 2010, and John and Gail Reed, Reed’s Food Center, have continued to keep up with technology trends and money saving “cool” storage units.  As far as I know, the beautiful glass above the windows is still a hidden part of the store. 

(Some information for the markers was taken from the book “One Hundred Years on the South Loup” by Norene Hall Mills.   Written and prepared byBerni Crow 5/13/2020.)