They began as pioneers, struggling against the summer heat in swamp-like conditions and cold, snowy winters. But even with limited resources, they became pillars of the community, bringing commerce and prosperity to Fremont.

Today, the Nye and May families are considered as some of the founding fathers of our town. Their contribution to the city and even a few myths about their lives are well noted among Fremont area historians.

One little-known fact is that the Louis E May museum located on Nye Avenue is the former home of the Nye families. Louis May is credited with preserving the Nye home. The museum now serves the community by housing and displaying historical information and antiques.

Staples & Fancy Groceries

Joseph T. May, then 20, first came to Fremont to found a small retail grocery, Staples and Fancy Groceries, at Sixth and Broad Streets. His brother Jacob K May also came to Fremont in 1869 to form the May Brothers Groceries and moved the store to Sixth and Park Avenue (then called F Street). In about 1878 William Lew May and Charles H May joined their brothers in Fremont.

The company was first established in 1868 as a retail grocery store at the southeast corner of Sixth Street and Park Avenue. Three of the brothers, Joseph T. May, Jacob K. May (Jake) and William L. May were the original founders, and they were joined a few years later by the fourth brother, Charles H. May.

May Brothers Jobbing

The business prospered and in a short time the proprietors abandoned the retail field to devote all their activity to the wholesale grocery line. The project continued to grow until it became one of the best known grocery houses in the midwest, conducting its operations over many states.

May Brothers Wholesale Groceries

It carried the name of ‘May Brothers’ until 1920 when the business was sold to H. P. Lau company in Lincoln, Nebraska.

The Petrow Building

1924 – 1969
S. S. Kresge’s

1969 – 1973
Jupiter Store

1980 – 1985
Ashley Outlet