September 1999
Bob Corbett, conversant

The Gioia family came to St. Louis from a suburban area of Milan, Italy in about 1905. Her father first opened a business near the hill, but then settled in at the northwest corner of Dale and Manchester in the building that still stands there. He ran a grocery store, restaurant and bar. His early days were difficult since he had problems with the Irish in Dogtown who harrased him. However, the Catholic priest intervened and told them they'd just have to get along and that he wouldn't tolerate the harrassment. It ceased and the Gioia's became a part of the neighborhood. Mr. Gioia ran the store until about 1918.

Later the Gioia's purchased a home on Wade Ave. at the top of the hill on the north side of the street of the 6400 block. Later Mr. Gioia wanted to open a store near the alley in the 1300 block of Tamm on the west side of the street. However, there was already a small store there. Mr. Gioia had it moved to its present location on the east side of the street and the Gioia's built the building which presently stands at 1315 Tamm. Ave.

Rose herself ran the cleaning establishment at that Tamm address from about 1930 until ?? In his book on the area, P.J. O'Connor says in 1937: "Rose Gioia, age 26, born in St. James Parish of Charles Gioia and Innocente Colombo, ranks among the modern women of the business world. She conductrs an up-to-date Cleaning Shop at 1315 Tamm Ave. with her mother acting as able assistant. Miss Gioia seeks success in her venture, having no trouble in satisfying the patronage gained by seven years of experience. An alumn of St. James School, a member of the Queen of the Rosary Sodality, and a singer in St. James' Choir, she numbers many friends in the social circle of the community." (O'Connor, 1937, p.101.)


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Bob Corbett