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The Ross Store - Seven Persons

Seven Persons - Once Hundred Sixty Acres and a Dream

Chapter 16

Robert and Julia Ross began another store in 1923 in the former Calder Store building. It was a poorly built, drafty shack-like place, but from it they sold a wide variety of groceries and staples. Goods were so piled up and packed together it was difficult to find some of the items. Mr. Ross hauled supplies from the wholesale houses in Medicine Hat in a truck cut down from an old car. When his tires wore out he ran on the rims.

One evening in 1926 he quietly passed away in his store, probably of a heart attack. Mrs. Ross and her nephew, Dave Foster, continued the business for several more years.

It became heresay to repeat Mrs. Ross's remark, "I have a bargain for you today." It could have been a small galvanized pail, a box of soap flakes, a bar of laundry soap, a bar of Palmolive toilet soap and a nail brush, all for the sum of eighty-three cents, or ten cans of pork and beans for a dollar, or six cans of sardines for fifty cents.

Mrs. Ross was a pretty good clerk considering her lack of experience and her advanced age. When the Seven Persons Trading Store could no longer trade butter and eggs for groceries, the Ross Store continued to do so. In this way he latter collected much of the grocery business, for hard cash was scarce in the nineteen twenties.

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Mary Tollestrup