October 1, 2009

Closed: Sheridan County loses only grocery store

Closed: Sheridan County loses only grocery store
By ALLAN TINKER
The bad news McClusky lost its grocery store on Saturday, Sept. 26. This was the last full-line grocery store in Sheridan County and the hurt runs deep. The white “closed’ sign on the front door of “Reule’s” promises that the store will reopen, but with no firm date set for that re-opening. Instead of reliable information, rumor runs rampant and former customers are left wondering.
The loss comes only a few days after the McClusky School District board heard (Sept. 14) that the store was in no danger of closing. This was in opposition to the Renaissance Zone project work that was near completion. The project process lacked only letters of support from the county and the school (these are required by the program set up by the ND Legislature, and not any promise of any financial support).
Though signs of trouble exist in many parts of the economy across the country, it comes as bitter heartbreak in small communities such as McClusky when a business closes. Goodrich felt much the same pain two years earlier, when Doering’s Super Valu closed due to the owner’s illness. The store never reopened and now other Goodrich businesses in town try to keep a few supplies on hand for emergencies and for those who have limited means to travel to other communities.
These owners of the closed stores are people who struggled to fill the hours of work at their businesses. They are also among the close family community, with countless hours in volunteer work, supporting community projects, seen and heard throughout the community in school, social, and business venues.
The McClusky store site has a long tradition in the community. The first building started life in the early days of the town, built by Rev. Ludwig Seibel and known as the Cement Block. The building housed many offices, apartments and a cream station at one time. There was also a barber shop, Masonic Lodge and the American Legion housed there over the years. This structure burned in 1940.
A nearby structure was then put into operation: first as a harness shop. This building was later owned by John Wentz and rented to John Silverman who operated a general store there for a few years. It was then purchased by John Dahl, still later by John Wentz and son Ted, and then also burned, in 1940.
A new building was put up on the lots by Wentz and, in 1941, the new general store opened; in 1952 family illness forced the rental and later sale of the building to William and Lorene Grenz. Everyone knew Willie and his family members who worked in the store.
In 1971 the store became Terry’s Super Valu, when Grenz’s son Terry and wife Diane (Froehlich) moved back home and ran the store until 2000, when current owner Jason Reule acquired the property.
 


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