Basket Stores of Nebraska (and other states)

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Posts: 7
Joined: 12 Jul 2014 20:18

Basket Stores of Nebraska (and other states)

Post by roket »

Hello, I wonder if anyone has information about Basket Stores. I'll share what I know to start it off.

Basket Stores is the earliest example I have found of a discount grocery chain.

Previously I was aware of A&P Economy Stores starting in 1912; Lutey's in Butte Montana in 1912; several stores called "Groceterias" in Los Angeles area in 1914-1915; Seattle's Groceteria Stores in 1915; Piggly Wiggly in 1916.

Basket Stores started in 1908 in Lincoln, Nebraska. It expanded to over 70 stores and included stores in Iowa and perhaps Kansas by 1920.

Here are a couple of full page ads at their 10th anniversary from the Omaha Daily Bee: ... -1/seq-19/ ... d-1/seq-6/

These ads followed a buyout by W. D. Williams of the chain started by J. R. Burleigh and Clarence S. Alvord. Burleigh and Alvord moved from Lincoln to Omaha and then to St. Joseph as they spread their chain.

Basket Stores met all of the criteria of a "groceteria" or early discount grocer: self-service, no credit, no delivery (or at least not free), clearly labeled prices, direct purchase from manufacturers, etc.

Basket Stores seems to have lasted into the 1940s but I don't know what happened to it.

I was drawn to this chain while continuing to research Seattle's Groceteria stores. Through happenstance, one of the Groceteria branch managers' father had a grocery in Omaha, Nebraska until about 1914. An ad that mentioned the father's store also listed several Basket Stores. I started digging into it because Groceteria's founder Alvin Monson was from rural Nebraska. He stated that he had inspiration from a few other discount grocers but didn't name them. I assumed they were A&P and perhaps grocers in California. But Monson lived in Lincoln, Nebraska for a year from 1912-1913 attending UNL.

I would like to understand its very early years -- 1908-1912 -- better. This 1913 lawsuit indicates that Basket Stores truly was a discount grocer prior to A&P, ... &q&f=false

I also want to know what happened to the chain.

And of course I'll be looking for more info on Burleigh and Alvord, and trying to find a connection to Monson.
Posts: 1
Joined: 07 Dec 2023 13:45

Re: Basket Stores of Nebraska (and other states)

Post by MrsB »

I had never heard of Basket Stores until I was looking up bio for Fred C. Wolf, who passed away in Omaha, Nebraska in 1971. He had been born in 1880, and in 1917 he was living in Lincoln, Nebraska and working as a clerk for Basket Stores there. By September 12, 1918, he and his wife were living in Omaha, Nebraska and he was a manager of the Basket Store at 108 N. 9th, Omaha. At the end of his life, the person who wrote his obit for the Omaha World-Herald mentioned that Fred was active in the Omaha Meat Dealers Association. Here is a link to Fred's FindaGrave memorial ... meron-wolf
Thank you, roket, for your initial article on Basket Stores!
Connie Buller "MrsB"
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