More memories of York County butcher shops of the past

I had asked, back in December, for your memories of butcher shops in response to a letter from Wayne Breighner. This request drew some great recollections!

There was a time in the early to mid-20th century when four butcher shops operated in Windsor borough in southeastern York County. Windsor resident Nelson Glatfelter, one of those butchers, used this truck to deliver meat to his customers.

Kathy Campbell-Beaverson says, “I remember Fisher’s Butchers that was located in the 300 block of South George St. It is currently housed by Our Daily Bread! My mother used to go there to get our meats for the week. I lived on South St, so it was very close. The neighborhood kids used to play in the alley behind Fisher’s and we could smell the butchering of the cows. It was a smell I will never forget. Thanks for the memories!!”

John Loeper also remembered Fisher’s Meats. He writes, “They also had a stand in the Central Market where my mother would buy the family’s meats every Saturday morning. She would not think of going anyplace else.”

Jason Gross says, “In Dover in the 50’s two butchers ran their trucks through town. ‘Butch’ Gentzler and ‘Butch’ Weaver. These were the only sources my mother used for all our meats. Weavers is still in business just off the square on East Canal St. Gentzlers was located on North Main St at what is now Herrold St. This is right across the street from where Doc Herrold’s home and office was located. I believe Weavers also had a stand at the Eastern Market at one time.”

Terry Parr writes, “I lived in the 400 block of Prospect as a kid in the 50’s and I remember going out to the curb with my mother to buy meat off the butcher’s panel truck. I don’t remember the butcher’s name but I do remember getting a free hot dog handed to me. To this day I like eating uncooked hot dogs.”

One new correspondent was Eugene Shue, who sent me a wonderful note. He says, “I look forward to your articles every Sunday. … About three years of my life we lived on a farm on Ore Valley Road. Don’t try to find it because the name has been changed and I don’t remember what is called now. South of Spry take Iron Stone Hill Road. A short way back Ore Valley was off to the right. The first farm on the right (don’t look for it because it is not a farm today). If you continue back Iron Stone Hill Road there was a farm house and butcher shop on the left and barn on the right. It was Smith brothers farm and butcher shop. Charlie ran the farm and Gene ran the butcher shop. We moved to York, 251 W. Jackson St. Gene Smith ran a butcher ruck to york. I don’t know when he stopped delivery. We lived on the North West corner of Jackson and Manor. On the northeast corner was a corner grocery store. It went up for sale and Norman Gordan opened it as Gordan’s meat market. One block east on Jackson at the corner of Jackson and Pershing Ave was the Almar, it had a variety of stuff, in the back corner were two pin ball machines that I put many of nickels in. Behind the Almar was a butcher shop but I don’t remember the name. Mr. Gordan got beef by the half and cut it up for sale. The shop behind the Almar got live animals in and kept them in a garage across the alley from the shop. On more than one occasion one would get loose. Us kids watched them kill a beef one time, one time was enough for me. The bull had a ring in his nose that they tied to a rope, there was a ring in the floor that they put the rope through and pulled his nose to the floor and than hit him with a sledge hammer to kill it. It took two hits to put him down. Not very pleasant to watch.”

Jim Gardner writes, “I was born on South Hartley St in 1950. Weekly, my mother would push the stroller with my brother and myself to the butcher shop on North Beaver St just a few doors south of Central Market. It was Samuelson’s Butcher shop. While mom was buying our meats for the week, my brother and I would patiently wait while looking into the clear topped cans full of cookies. When mom was finished, the butcher would come around the counter and allow us to each select a cookie that we had been coveting oh so patiently. One day, the butcher (I think his name was Harry) noticed my brother and I were both sucking our thumbs while waiting for our cookie. This time when he came around the counter, he said “I used to suck my thumb too when I was a little boy.” As he said this, he revealed his thumbless hand from behind his back. Yes, he had lost it as a risk of the trade but, my brother and I weren’t told that part of the story. We both just dropped our thumbs from out mouths in wide eyed amazement. I never sucked my thumb again. My brother, however survived the trauma of the day and resumed his thumbsucking until a later date when he was finally bribed into submission with the promise of a lariat. I have always loved my butcher shop story as one of my favorite childhood recollections.”

Corrie Camalleri from Mount Wolf writes that she was born in 1947 and grew up in Shiloh, a block off of Carlisle Road. As a child, the butcher truck came to her house twice a week. “His name was Jacoby but I can’t remember his first name,” she said. “I especially remember eating a slice of Lebanon bologna while my mom shopped for her meat. Good memory.”

The Pensupreme dairy truck and Schmidt’s bakery trucks also came twice a week, she said. “I wonder if anyone remembers the family owned grocery store on the 2000 block of Carlisle Rd. My friends and I could walk from our neighborhood on Spring & Elim Streets to get our own penny candy. It was on the east side of Carlisle Rd across from where Sunset Lane meets Rt. 74.” That was Albright’s store, which we talked about in this previous post!

Corrie said she also remembers ‘Smoky’ Stover’s Newsstand on Sunset Lane… “But we couldn’t cross the road!”

Jack Strayer of York said he grew up in Pleasureville about a block from a meat market. He’s now 82, and as a young boy, he would watch them kill the animals in the summer. There was a screen door on the side of the shop and they would put him up on a butcher block to shoot pigs. When he would miss, they would take over the shooting. Fred was the father and Butch and Lavern were the sons – “they were great people,” Jack said. Jack gave their last name in his letter, but I apologize, I wasn’t able to quite make it out; it might have been Wineka or Mineka? Any updates on that would be wonderful!

Even more memories of butcher shops are here as part of the Remember series!

About Joan Concilio

My name is Joan and I'm a lifelong Yorker. Throughout high school and college, I swore I was getting out of here as soon as possible. Now, a few years later, I can't think of anywhere I'd rather be. I love my town, and I hear every day from readers who love their towns, too. So please, connect with me and let's share what makes life in York County great. I'm here to help you enjoy this place as much as I do!
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