The Berrian family dog, Monday, was amazing because of what he liked to eat.
Back in May of 2009, Meg Berrian shared a wonderful memory of her family dog in response to a comment about several dogs of fame in Webb City. I would like to share that memory with you.
The Berrians had a famous pet that could be found at Berrian’s Grocery, owned by C.E. Berrian at 1001 West Daugherty (northwest corner of Madison and Daugherty streets).
Meg Berrian, granddaughter of C.E. Berrian, found a picture of the store’s mascot, “Monday.” In the photo, Monday is sitting rather dignified atop a concrete planter at the family home, 611 S. Madison St. Being a plant sitter was not Monday’s fame, Rather, it was for eating raw potatoes at the store. Usually he helped himself to the potato bin but as his fame spread he was offered potatoes as entertainment for customers.
According to Meg’s dad, Jon Berrian, Monday was a friendly pit bull terrier mix. After Monday passed away, the family got a shepherd mix and named him Tuesday.
Berrian’s Grocery was the first concrete block building in the West End area. The concrete meant stability to the Berrians, whose previous store in Alba had burned.
The Berrians opened their new store in 1908 with the charm of an old fashioned general store, including an old pot belly stove. But as time went on the store focused on groceries. The store had three generations of Berrians as C.E.’s father Clarence worked there as well as C.E. and son Jon.
For 52 years, Berrian’s Grocery was a landmark. Many memories are connected with Berrian’s Grocery Store.
Another grocery store dog of fame was a chow- chow named “Tear It Down,” and I guess he came by his name honestly. Tear It Down could be found at Gooding’s Grocery, which was located at 701 N. Main St., just across the street from the original two story brick building known as Webster School.
The store displayed a taxidermist’s stuffed animals, including a two-headed calf, birds, peacocks, wolves, ducks, and all kinds of varmints, according to Wilfred T. Smith.
A young lady by the name of Jessie Hensley Lusk recalls that she bought her penny pencils and Big Chief tablets at Gooding’s. She said that she and her best friend , Ada Sinnard Tabor, would take their pennies there to buy their favorite candies. They also bought tiny chocolate pies in little pie tins that they just cherished.
Jessie admitted that she was a bit frightened to go into Gooding’s location because of all the big animal heads on the walls above the shelves. “There was one huge bird that always seemed ready to swoop down on me with its glassy eyes,” she said.
As if the stuffed animals weren’t scary enough, there was also the big chow-chow that greeted folks as soon as he heard the sound of the screen door opening. She said you could hear the tapping of the toenails as they tapped on the hardwood floor when he came to greet customers. Mr. Gooding would often sit on the front porch with his dog at his feet.
Now, this last grocery store doggie story wasn’t about a famous dog but an infamous dog. It seems that as Mrs. Willard went to Wilson’s Grocery store on North Main Street she was followed by Pat Willard’s dog. The dog managed to scurry in before the screen door closed, and there on the counter was a big juicy soup bone. Well, what dog could resist such a temptation? He jumped up and grabbed that bone right off the counter and hurried out the door. The mortified Mrs. Willard offered to pay Mr. Wilson for the bone, but he was laughing so hard, he said to just let it go. What a good natured fellow he was.
Mr. Wilson would often make home deliveries and on one such delivery, Mrs. Willard told him about a moldy piece of cheese she had received a few days earlier. Mr. Wilson decided to taste the cheese to make sure it was bad. When he bit into the cheese, he exclaimed, “Johnny jump up and give me a bite of rotten apple to take the taste out of my mouth!” Needless to say, Mr. Wilson took back the cheese and credited Mrs. Willard’s account. He really was a good natured fellow!
A special thanks for these wonderful stories and to Meg Berrian for the picture of Monday. She and other good folks are sadly no longer with us, but their stories live on.
Jeanne’s new book, “The Zinc City, Webb City, Missouri” is now available at Webb City Chamber office and other local retailers, such at Maggie Jane’s Gifts, at 8 S. Main St.