In the 1901 Urbana Telephone directory there were listed 22 groceries and 6 meat markets. One of the groceries listed was that of George P. Mott at 114 Miami Street (Mott Grocery – Miami St.). This store opened in 1900 and closed sometime after 1906.
Mr. Mott then worked for the “Strawboard” (United Boxboard Co.) until 1915 when he was injured. He then opened a grocery at 304 Louden St. Another Mott Grocery was opened in 1918 at 839 N. Russell St. across from North Ward School. Prior to this a grocery was operated at this location by Peter Johnson. After George Mott’s death in 1926, the Russell Street store was owned and operated by his widow Mary S. Mott until her death in 1965. Her son William B. Mott Sr. managed this store from 1932 and became owner upon her death. During the same period he opened another store at 309 E. Ward St. next to their home. With his retirement in 1972 both stores closed ending 72 years of Mott’s Groceries serving the community. Prior to the domination of the grocery business by a few large stores the small grocery exemplified by the Mott’s Groceries was the norm.
The Champaign County Historical Museum is a not-for-profit organization that depends upon donations and dues to preserve, protect, archive and display the artifacts that tell the Champaign County story. The free public museum located at 809 E. Lawn Ave., Urbana, is open to the public Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Info from CCHS