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Central Market Records (Geneva)

Overview

Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Box 1

Box 2

Accounts ledger, daily (1 volume)

Accounts ledger, daily (1 volume)



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Central Market Records (Geneva), 1902-1977 | Northern Illinois University

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Collection Overview

Title: Central Market Records (Geneva), 1902-1977

ID: RHC/RC/072

Extent: 2.25 Linear Feet

Date Acquired: 07/23/1979

Subjects: Central Market, Geneva (Ill.), Grocery trade, Meat industry and trade, Retail trade

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

This collection partially documents the business activities of the Central Market in Geneva, Illinois, from 1902-1977.  Documents before the late 1930’s, however, are sparse and yield little information; the bulk of the material pertains to later years.

The collection contains a deed, a license, correspondence, governmental memos, census information, and employer tax returns related to withholding and social security.  Also included are store accounts, sales records, bank accounts, employee and payroll records, an American Legion Post’s finances for Labor Day, 1921, and various printed materials.  Housed with the boxes are two account ledgers.

Collection Historical Note

The Central Market was a mainstay of the Geneva, Illinois business community from 1895 until early 1979.  O.P. Johnson and Henry Sandholm purchased the market at 121 W. State Street in November of 1895.  Known as the Sandholm and Johnson Meat Market, it was renamed the O.P. Johnson Central Meat Market in 19)0 when Johnson became sole owner.  Axel Peterson became a partner in 1917, and a year later the market moved to 209 W. State Street where it was located until its demise in 1979.  O.P. Johnson retired in 1935; his son, Ira Johnson, and Leslie Danielson became co-owners then and operated the store thereafter.

The Central Market is best known for its Swedish ethnic origin and connections.  Ira Johnson’s ancestors were part of the massive influx of Swedish immigrants to America in the nineteenth century.  In 1895 approximately one half of the population of Geneva was of Swedish origin; the Eastern side of town was well known as the Swedish section of the community.  Geneva had its own lodge of the Independent Order of Good Templars and has formally celebrated Swedish Day since June 1925 when the Good Templar Park was completed.  O.P. and Ira Johnson were part of the ethnic Swedish business community that sought to cater to immigrants and their descendants.  At first the market specialized in meat and fish.  Employees took weekly trips to Chicago to personally select the fish, and orders were taken from and deliveries made to homes in the Geneva area.  Gradually other products were added to the store’s stock.  A prominent businessman, Ira Johnson has also served in various county and township administrative offices since 1931.  The market was accidently destroyed early in 1979 when an adjacent building collapsed, severely damaging it.

Subject/Index Terms

Central Market
Geneva (Ill.)
Grocery trade
Meat industry and trade
Retail trade

Administrative Information

Repository: Northern Illinois University

Access Restrictions: There are no restrictions on access to the collection.

Use Restrictions: Property rights in the collection are held by the Regional History Center; literary rights are dedicated to the public.

Acquisition Source: Ira W. Johnson

Acquisition Method: Ira W. Johnson donated the records of the Central Market; Geneva, Illinois to the Northern Illinois Regional History Center on July 23, 1979.

Related Materials: Researchers interested in the Central Market primarily because of its connection to the Swedish immigrant community in the region may wish to consult two additional Regional History Collections, the Fred C. Soderboom Papers (RC 33) and the International Order of Good Templars (RC 66).

Related Publications: Geneva, Illinois:<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space:pre"> </span>A History of Its Times and Places, edited by Julia M. Ehresmann, (Geneva, Illinois: Geneva Public Library District, 1977) may also be useful.


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Box:

[Box 1],
[Box 2],
[Volume 1: Accounts ledger, daily (1 volume), December 1941-September 1965],
[Volume 2: Accounts ledger, daily (1 volume), October 1965-September 1973; January 1976-August 1977],
[All]

Volume 1: Accounts ledger, daily (1 volume), December 1941-September 1965

Browse by Box:

[Box 1],
[Box 2],
[Volume 1: Accounts ledger, daily (1 volume), December 1941-September 1965],
[Volume 2: Accounts ledger, daily (1 volume), October 1965-September 1973; January 1976-August 1977],
[All]


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