This is the front window of FM King & Sons grocery store. The business was located at 34-36 South Allen (Main) St. The building reflected in the window is the Webb City Hall, located directly across the street. The image of the little girl slicing the meat belonged to the Swift Premium Meat Co. The King grocery building was constructed in 1900 and today is the home of Twisted Oak Co.  

Note the office window for the Southwest Missouri Light Company located in the City Hall building across the street is clearly visible. (Photos contributed by Dan Crutcher) 

Old News

From the 3rd floor of the Webb City Public Library

King’s Grocery was one of the largest in the midwest when it was sold in 1905

Webb City Area Genealogical Society

Francis M. King, along with his sons William and Frank, ran a grocery store in the early days of Webb City. 

In 1900 the King family was living at 119 S. Hall street.

The Kings sold the grocery store in 1905, when it was reported to be the largest retail grocery and meat business in southwest Missouri. F.M. and William purchased a similar store located in Cleveland, Oklahoma Territory.  

F.M. King died in Tulsa, Okla., on Dec. 10, 1908.  He was buried at the Webb City Cemetery but was later moved to Mount Hope Cemetery after the death of his wife, Martha King, in 1917.

F. M. King & Son’s advertisement is from The Webb City Register, Dec. 19, 1903. It mentions that both phones were No. 14, and that was possible because there were two different telephone exchanges in Webb City at the time and retailers usually subscribed to both.

Kings outdoor grocery stand, featuring Swift Premium Meat products, was set up on the sidewalk outside the store. 

In 1855, Gustavus Swift founded his meat making business at the age of 16 with the purchase of a $20 heifer. The business grew into a small butcher shop and slaughterhouse in Sagamore, Mass. By 1900 they had meat packing plants across the Midwest from Kansas City to St. Paul, Minn.

The Swift company remains in business to this day.

Webb City Area Genealogical Society

WCAGS members staff the Genealogy Room on the third floor of the Webb City Public Library. Current hours are noon to 4 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. Meetings are held at 6 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month in the Geadalogy Room.

Everything you want to know about Jasper County Missouri Schools is available at a site compiled by Webb City Area Genealogical Society member Kathy Sidenstricker.

Sentinel bound volumes are now in the Genealogy Room

The WCAGS has accepted ownership of the complete collection of bound volumes of the Webb City Sentinel, from 1983 (after the fire) until the final issue on Dec. 30, 2020.

Those issues can also be viewed on microfilm, along with much older issues.

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