by Don Chaney

Don Chaney is the former mayor and a long-time resident of Crane.

Article #33
Taken from the Crane News, published July 30, 1998.


     About the mid-twenties, circa 1924, a man named Clarence Saunders came up with an idea.  What an idea it turned out to be.  In those days when you went into a grocery store, you told the clerk, probably the owner, what items you wanted.  He was behind a counter.  He got the items and literally waited on you.  I do not go back that far but I lack very little.  I saw a setup like this at the restored Sutler's Store at Fort Davis.  They had a barrel of vinegar.  You brought your own container.  You also saw this in "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman" on TV.  Clarence Saunders had a grocery store in Tennessee or Kentucky, I think.  He put in turn styles for customers to go into the store and help themselves.  He called the store "Piggy Wiggly, Help Yourself".  He had a checking stand as we know it today.  His motto was "Clarence Saunders, 'sole owner' of my name".  This was when he licensed the Piggly Wiggly name as a franchise and sold the hardware, etc. This became a national institution!  When I went to work it was in a Piggly Wiggly store in Wink.  That was in 1930.  Yes, we had a barrel of bulk vinegar.

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