Adam Ooms

My great-grandfather on my father’s side, Adam Ooms, made quite a living with the grocery store he started in Roseland on April 1, 1886 at 124th W. 111th Street. At the age of 21 and with no prior experience, he went into business for himself and began one of the first independent grocery stores in the area (photo from the original Tribune Co-Operator dated March, 1930 and my father – thanks Dad!).

A new store was built near the old location in 1904 at the old Wentworth building at 146 W. 111th Street.

Sometime later, Adam added a little annex on the east for his son John, who was a radio dealer/repairman who stayed there until his death around 1960 or 1961. Adam retired after 43 years at the age of 65, selling the store to his sons, Harry and Simon. 

Adam was born to John and Johanna (Van Mynen/Van Mijnen) Ooms in Roseland on September 16, 1864, and married Gertrude Dekker on April 26, 1886. They had 12 children together, four of whom died young. He was elected Supervisor of the Town of Calumet in 1886 after previously serving a year and a half as Constable of the village of West Roseland. 

He died on October 4, 1931 from “toxic thyroid”, two years after his retirement.

What happened to the store?  Harry and Simon sold the business in 1964, and Monarch Laundry bought it, tore it down and made it into this —

It is currently a 3 story low income housing complex.

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