The McNitt Brothers Open a Store in Grand Rapids, 1935-1936

From the unpublished autobiograpy of James McNitt, 1992

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James McNitt's text Bill McNitt's annotations
In 1935 the decision was made to open another store at the location of Dad's A. & P. store at 652 Wealthy Street, S.E., in Grand Rapids. Walt's job had been petering out, and he and Glenn went in together. I came along for the ride.
During this period Mother died. A few years before she had had an operation for breast cancer. This, however, had nothing to do with it; her death was blamed on enlargement of the heart. She was 53 years old. While I sorrowed, it was probably well that I was no longer at home. I was back staying with the aunts.  Emma Sarah Merrill McNitt died on May 2, 1935 at Conklin and is buried in Rest Lawn Memorial Park, 3450 Eastern Avenue SE, Grand Rapids.
The store was almost inevitably doomed. The Depression still lingered. Unwise credit extension and a lack of operating capital hampered operations. Cecile's brother, Manny, was out of work and was brought into the store. There was more personnel than the store could support. Walt objected, but the sad truth was that much of Cecile's wages with a law firm was being plowed back into the store. Cecile was Glenn McNitt's wife Cecile Schwartz.  They had married on December 25, 1932 in Grand Rapids.  Manny was her brother Emanuel Schwartz.
A venture that didn't pan out was taking over a small store in the Oakwood Apartments, a high class place where many of the residents were elderly widows. Walt ran this for a while on a part time basis, but there wasn't enough volume for it to pay.

Oakwood Manor Apartments

Oakwood Manor Apartments

This is probably the building currently known as Oakwood Manor Apartments at 547 Cherry SE.  It was constructed in 1923.
Finally the main store was sold to a Dutchman at an extreme sacrifice. He hired me as butcher. After about a week the refrigeration gave out in the meat cooler. He fired me after the second week, refusing to pay me for the second week on the pretext that one of our former customers had taken off without paying what she owed. We had quite a hassle, and I was threatened with bodily harm before I finally left.

James McNitt

Dad, ca.  1935-1936

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