South of the Tracks: J. S. Dillon Stores

by Kristine Schmucker, HCHM Curator

The post continues the series South of the tracks. The east side of Main was the home for several grocery stores over the years, including Dillons.

314 N. Main Location

In 1910, a man with a new ideas for grocery stores came to Newton. J. S. Dillon was a successful businessman from Sterling, Ks where he operated a wagon and buggy repair shop since the 1890s.

“Dillon’s Cash Grocery”

He bought out Lee-McDaniel Store, south of the tracks, and opened a grocery store on the east side at 314 Main.

Evening Kansan Republican, 30 June 1910.

With his new store, Dillon introduced Newton to a new way of doing business – cash and carry. Most businesses operated by allowing customers customers to charge their purchases and pay at a later date. Home deliveries were expected.  Dillon opened “Dillon’s Cash Grocery: Save Money by Buying on the Cash Plan Here.” Dillon’s store did not operate on credit, nor did he provide home delivery.

Evening Kansan Republican, 25 July 1916

In 1915, Dillon opened a cash and carry store in Hutchinson, Ks.  A year later, he closed the Newton store and focused all of his efforts on stores in Hutchinson.

Evening Kansan Republican, 27 September 1916

J. S. Dillon left Newton for 10 years.

200 N. Main Location

The building at 200 N. Main was the last structure built on the east side of Main in the 200 Block. The 1909 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map notes “2 story brick building to be erected here.”

Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps, 1909 Clipping of 200 Main, Newton, Ks, east side.

Several stores were located in the building 1910-1924.

Star Grocery 1910-1917

Between 1910 and 1926, the two-story brick building  was home to many grocery stores. The first business was the Star Grocery which opened December 1910 at 200 Main.

Evening Kansan Republican, 31 December 1910

The Star Grocery moved to a location at the corner of Broadway and Main,  Newton in approximately 1917.

Livingstons 1918 – 1922

Evening Kansan Republican, 20 February 1918

Evening Kansan Republican, 3 November 1922

Glenn’s Grocery 1922 – approximately 1924

Evening Kansan Republican, 24 November 1922

J. S. Dillon & Sons Return to Newton

In approximately 1926, J.S. Dillon returned to Newton and located his business at 200 Main.

J. S. Dillons & Sons, 200 N. Main, Newton

Interior of J.S.Dillon & Sons at 200 Main, Newton, 1926.

Interior of J.S.Dillon & Sons at 200 Main, Newton, ca. 1930.

320 Main Location

Dillons, 320 N. Main, Newton, Ks, ca. 1956.

Inside the new store at 320 Main

Interior Dillons, 320 Main, ca. 1956

Today, Furniture Warehouse is located at 200 Main and the Dillons location at 320 Main is closed.

Dillons moved several more times.

  • 12/1936 – 6/ 1964: 700 Main, Newton
  • 7/ 1964 – present day: 1216 Main, Newton
  • Dillons also opened a store at 1410 Kansas Ave, Newton.