Saturday, November 28, 2015

1995 Streber's New Chapter

Streber's Market, in New Vienna, Ohio, has been owned and operated by the Streber Family since 1931.  In 1995, they moved from their downtown location to a new building on SR-73 on the north side of town.  Following are some clippings and history about the family.  Thanks to Barbara Johnson Mee and Courtney Streber Hoak for some of the information.

In 1930 Gleason & Jane Turner Streber lived with Jane's parents in Liberty Township, Highland County.  The 1930 Census also states that they both worked in a grocery store, Gleason as manager and Jane as a Sales Lady [1].  Gleason was born in 1903, Jane in 1905.

The Streber family moved to the New Vienna area when Gleason became manager of a Kroger's market in New Vienna.   In 1929 Kroger's decided to focus on larger markets and the store in New Vienna was no longer associated with the Kroger Company.  According to the clipping scanned below, Gleason became an independent proprietor in 1932, associated with "Super Valu" distributor. He was the owner/operator of the store in New Vienna from 1931-1967 when he retired [2] and Bob took over the management of the store.

Gleason died of a heart attack in October 1974.  Jane, a long time Sunday School teacher at the Methodist Church, died in 1976.  Bob, Jane and Gleason's oldest son, managed the store after the retirement of his father in 1967.

When Robert Edwin "Bob" Streber was born on December 8, 1930, in Hillsboro, Ohio, his father, Gleason, was 27 and his mother, Mildred "Jane", was 25. He married Joellen Rulon on September 6, 1948, in Greenup County, Kentucky. He died on April 2, 2002, in New Vienna, Ohio, at the age of 71, and was buried there.  Both Bob and Joellen were 1948 graduates of New Vienna High School.  They were the parents of Robyn, Steven, Jeffrey, Gregory & Gretchen.  Joellen died in 1981 and Bob in 2002.  They have an impressive monument/memorial at the IOOF Cemetery in New Vienna [3].
Streber Family Memorial Monument - New Vienna IOOF Cemetery - Shows the Main St. Market location and the new store on SR-73
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[] U.S. Census Year: 1930; Census Place: Liberty, Highland, Ohio; Roll: 1823; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 14; Image: 278.0; FHL microfilm: 2341557
[2] Wilmington News-Journal 9 Oct 1974 p.2 Gleason Streber Obituary
[3] Find-A-Grave New Vienna IOOF Cemetery, Streber Family Memorial
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Bob Streber, left, rings the final sale, that of Lou Donohoo, right, for the old store.
Wilmington News-Journal, 28 March 1995 
Continuing story – Bob Streber, Streber's Market in New Vienna, jots down a memento, the store's last sales ticket at its old location, as he and his family close out one chapter in the family business and begin their start on another.

From one chapter to another
by Daniel Nixon, City Editor

NEW VIENNA –– The floor needs repair but the foundation is firm as Streber's Market prepares for some major changes.

For starters, second generation store owner Robert Streber marked the last sale in the old store recently as his two sons, Greg and Steve, put the finishing touches on the family's new 6,500-square-foot store on the north edge of town off SR-73.

Soon they will be opening their newly built combination convenience and grocery store.

On Saturday, the family closed permanently its downtown village grocery, in business there for over 60 years, as Streber, 64, looks to begin –– well, not exactly retirement.  "Semi-retirement," he said.

The store, formerly a Kroger's, had been managed by Streber's father, Gleason, for Kroger who had sent him to New Vienna.  Kroger closed it in the late 1920s as being in too small a town.

A few years later Xenia-based food distributor Eavey, later becoming Super Valu, approached Gleason about reopening the store, said Streber.  His father thought Eavey meant for him to just manage the store for them, said Streber.  No, they wanted him to be an independent proprietor.

That was in 1932, as the country slipped deeper into the Great Depression.

He didn't even have enough money for the cash register on opening day." said Streber.  The Eavey representative pulled $25 from his pocket as a loan for the till.  "It was really started on a shoestring," said Streber.

Other than a brief period farming, Streber's involvement with the store has been constant since 1950.

His late wife, Joellen, once chided him, "who are you married to, me or the store," said Streber grinning.  "I guess I was married to both."

Memories go back father: Falling asleep on the bread shelves at 2 years old with his mother, Jane.  "My first job was passing out handbills door-to-door when I was 5 for 25 cents a week," he said.

Streber's may sell food, but its stock-in-trade over the years has been people.

A lot of, lot of, lot of memories," said Streber, standing at the back of the long, narrow store as the last customers mad their way to the cash register.

The thing I enjoy the most is talking to the older people.  They can tell you a lot of things that happened in the town," he said.

Though government regulations and changing times have made it more difficult to hire good, young help for the store, offering that first job has been another source of satisfaction over the years, he said.

"It allows them to earn some money when they're young, teaches them responsibility."  How many have worked there?  "Oh, I couldn't name them, "he said.

The two things the store has been blessed with, he said, have been loyal customers and good help.

"I guess the first thing you thank is the good Lord, my folks for starting it and my wife for sticking by while we developed."

Kroger Store in New Vienna Ohio c1928, Homer Williams, Mgr.  Image Courtesy of Hayward Crone via Mike Whited.  In 1931 Gleason Streber opened his own grocery in this location.  (Martha Knauff confirmed that the aproned man is Homer Williams, her father.  He became a manager of a Kroger's in Milford 1925 at the age of 21.  Whether this photo is actually of a New Vienna store is unconfirmed.)
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The following first appeared on Facebook, Barbara Johnson Mee provided the following three pictures and the post that follows.

Streber's Market, Main St., New Vienna, Ohio 1934.  Pictured left to right: Gleason Streber, Ed Turner, Martha Bernard, Jane Streber & Archie Rawlinson.

from Barbara Johnson Mee's Facebook post:
Streber's Market and Gas Station, located on Route 73 N. has its roots in New Vienna dating back 84 years ago. Gleason Streber, the man who started it all, was born in 1903, the son of Robert and Margaret Vanzant Streber. Gleason married Jane Turner Streber on Aug. 12, 1929. They had 4 children; Robert, Carey (Bo), John and Walter. In his early years Gleason worked for the Kroger's Co. and in 1931 opened his own grocery store in NV.

Thanks go to Courtney Streber Hoak, great granddaughter of Gleason Streber, for sharing the 1st photo and some information with me! In the photo Gleason and some of his staff are pictured outside of the original store which was located in the very center of NV. Courtney related to me that the photo was probably taken in 1934 according to the movie poster displayed in the window depicting a movie being shown in that year. Names written on the back of the photo were, L to R: Gleason Streber, Ed Turner, Martha Bernard, Jane Streber, and Archie Rawlinson.

Gleason, Jane and their family were the Strebers I knew when I lived in NV. What came as a surprise to me was that when the photo was taken, Martha Bernard, the lady who eventually opened a Beauty Shop in NV worked at the grocery back then. I had never heard that fact before seeing her in the photo and named on the back of the picture. (You learn something new everyday as is said). Martha eventually moved her Beauty Shop to her home located on Route 28 W.

In the 1960's Gleason retired to his farm located on Bernard Road and the Streber family continues to operate Streber's Market to this day.
2015 Former Streber's Market - Main St., New Vienna, Ohio

The 2nd photo, taken Oct. 2015, is of the space located in the very heart of NV where the original grocery was located. The building now sets empty, but my goodness, the memories it contains!
The 3rd photo is of the present day grocery and gas station which is located in the center of a field where the farm I once lived on was located. Back then I would never imagined the farm being gone or that Streber's Market would someday be located there.......Time changes everything!!!
Please add any additional information you may have about Streber's Market. Thank you.
2015 Streber's Market - this location on SR-73 on north edge of New Vienna opened in 1995.

1 comment:

  1. Rich history! Everyone from New Vienna from years ago knew of the small Streber's market---it was a fixture in the town. Great posting--thank you!