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The Ruth Store

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Ruth’s General Store

It looks like all of their friends and neighbors wanted to get into this picture too.  The family starts with little Audie (Adolph) Ruth who is just to the left of the store entrance.  His mother stands in the entrance holding baby Clara.  F. Gustav Ruth stands at the right of the entrance with little Elizabeth in front of him.  Emma and Mayme (Marie) stand by the fence in front of their living room wing.  Fred Ruth, the oldest living child, sits on the right in front of the upper window with a friend.  Alma and Esther were not yet born.  The Ruth General Store not only served the Clintonville community, but the nearby Indian families and gypsies as well.  He had many large barrels of produce, candy and other yummy things in the store.  You can see one of those barrels on its side next to Gustav.  They came in handy for rolling over the cellar trap door when the Indians needed a warm place to sleep for the night.  That kept them “put” so they couldn’t wander around the store during the night.  But in the day, the open barrels were “easy pickin’s” for the gypsies as they traipsed through not only the store but the house as well.  Fred’s second wife, Bertha, used to chase them out of the house with a broom to keep them from stealing everything valuable that she owned.  They had long flowing sleeves that gathered at the wrists and multiple pockets in their many petticoats for stuffing in whatever they could pick up.  The men tried to keep Gustav busy with talk of trading while the women did their thing.  Gustav’s children hid from the gypsies.  They were afraid of them.  They would often try to trade off one of their children for someone else to bring “new blood” into their clan.  But the Ruth children were still fascinated by them.  Occasionally they used to sneak down by Brown’s woods to watch their camp.  Naturally, they kept well hidden in the woods so they couldn’t be seen but scary is fun, too!

An Undated Clipping...

But 66 years after 1879 would have been1945, so it must have been printed around that year.

More Clippings...

About Peter, The Ruth’s Parrot

Gustav brought him home from a buying trip to Chicago when Alma was young.  The “privilege” of cleaning his cage and caring for him finally fell to Esther, being the youngest in the family.  She never did like parrots much after that.  She thought of them as raucous and obnoxious critters, and it’s no wonder, given the tales that are told about him.  He would call out, “Fred!, Fred!, Get up Fred!, Get up!” and “Clara!, Clara!”.  He couldn’t say Esther but he’d call out, “Etta!, Etta!”, so she knew when she was being paged.  The Augustine family lived next door with their parrot, Polly.  They’d have conversations through the open windows: “Hello Peter!”, and “Hello Polly!”.  From the article, one can only guess what the “spicy remarks” in their vocabulary included.  Peter lived to be almost 40 years old.  He didn’t die until the late 1920s, so he lived a good life.

Who says that sidewalk sales are a modern invention?  Not so!  Here F. Gustav Ruth stands holding a pitcher and displaying his bowls and dishes on a table--on the sidewalk, no less!  The entranceway to his store can be seen to the right of his left shoulder.  He looks quite dapper in that hat but his vest could use a pressing.