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NW Ohio History: Department Stores - 1900

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The pioneers' general store carried something for everyone, from staple groceries to cloth, to farm implements. As communities grew, the population could support more specialized stores, but some businesses continued to stock a variety of items. "Drygoods" included textiles and sewing notions, as well as ready-to-wear clothing and bedding. A variety store's stock included not only dry goods but also an array of household items like cookware, appliances, and furniture, usually at low cost. The department store was large enough to offer a special shopping experience, with a wide variety of goods available under one roof.

Department & Variety Stores, Dry Goods

 A. Froney & Co. Department Store

The logic of success is success. All the enthusiasm of business is having things grow and keep on growing, constantly adding to the strength of the organization. One of the most remarkable instances of such enterprise is the "Big Store" of A. Froney & Co., known throughout the length and breadth of these regions as a veritable "Dry Goods Palace," and familiar to all the people of Bowling Green and round about. This business was started 40 years ago by Mr. A. Froney, who has since been joined by Messrs. Bert Froney and Fred Moore, and there aim ever has been to keep a first-class

Froney Department Store

store and to sell first-class goods in a first-class way.

The firm's strong personalities and strict attention to detail has made them absolute masters of the situation, and with the reins in their hands the policy of the stores has been more and more progressive until the pendulum has swung from ultra-conservatism to "first in everything," with wide awake ideas and up-to-date methods underlying the whole business.

Froney Department Store Stationery

The building occupied by the firm at Nos. 22, 24 and 26 South Main street was especially constructed to accommodate their large stock, and when the store building to the north recently bought by them is occupied, they will have a floor space of over 20,000 square feet. Here is headquarters for dry goods, notions, ladies' furnishings and garments, carpets,

draperies, boots, shoes, rubbers, hats, caps, men's furnishings and the like, and everything is busy activity, with bright minds constantly on the alert to discount the past.

The eastern market is being constantly drawn on to supply this House, and what A. Froney & Co. started out to do they are doing in a large measure-no tricks, no nonsense, but everything good and everything reliable. The emphasis of this fact is the emphasis of a principle that has thoroughly established this house in the confidence of the community, and made its success abundant and satisfactory.

--Wood County Democrat, February 16, 1900

 The Fair, W. A. Barkalow, Prop.

One of the most unique, as well as important enterprises of Bowling Green, is "The Fair" store conducted by Mr. W. H. Barkalow at No. 12 South Main street. The store is conveniently arranged and the stock artistically displayed, and here one can find anything from the most trivial novelties up to articles of great value and practical utility. For instance, crockery, glassware, tinware, notions, stationery, fancy goods, toys, jewelry, novelties and nearly everything that could be called for, are sold at "rock bottom" prices, while school supplies of all kinds are made a leading feature.

It was a fortunate day for Bowling Green when five years ago "The Fair," and its genial and enterprising proprietor became identified with the business interests of the city. The first has become indispensable in meeting the needs of the people, and the second has steadily grown into the favor and confidence of the public, and is regarded as among Bowling Green's most popular and prosperous business men. Everything you want, everything reliable and everything a bargain, "The Fair's" winning motto.

--Wood County Democrat, February 16, 1900

 Noah's Ark, A. E. Layton, Prop.

This well known and admirably conducted emporium is the center of attraction for a large portion of the community round about, and it offers bargains in everything. Here is displayed a stock extremely varied and made to embrace almost everything. The main lines are tinware, glassware, crockery, toys, fancy goods, notions, novelties, staple household goods and the like, and at all times customers may rely upon receiving excellent articles and courteous attention. This is a strictly up-to-date store and goods are sold at prices that are astonishingly low.

March 1st this store will be moved to the new and commodious quarters, three doors south of the Post Office at No. 10 N. Main street.

This business was started four years ago and at once bounded into public favor for it had what the people wanted, and sold them at a small margin of profit, and this is the second time that larger quarters have had to be sought. The new store will be handsomely fitted up and the stock in each department will be constantly added to, and customers will continue to come from all directions.

Mr. Layton's store has grown to be one of the largest establishments in Bowling Green and has won the admiration and confidence of all our citizens.

--Wood County Democrat, February 16, 1900

 The Boston Store, Drygoods, Shoes, Furnishings

Every city has its different merchants, and some are more successful than others, but it is understood why-it is their mode of conducting business. When it comes to dry goods, shoes, and the like then the people have a chance to show their appreciation, and they always know where to get the most for their money.

One of the most substantial and leading houses in Wood county is the Boston Store, in the Eagle block on Main street. This business was established in 1888, and having been conducted on clear business principles, with "strictly cash, one price to all, and lowest prices guaranteed" as its motto, it gained a widespread popularity and built up an immense patronage. By touching the wire its eastern buyers will quickly replenish any department of its large stock, which embraces handsome and complete lines of Dry Goods, Notions, Ladies' and Men's Furnishings, Ladies' and Children's Ready-Made Garments, and Boots, shoes and Rubbers for everybody.

The Boston Store is determined to outgrow even its present large quarters and patronage, and so will continue to carry extensive lines of desirable goods, and to treat all customers alike. Throughout, the Boston Store is up-to-date, progressive and reliable, and the proprietors are to be congratulated upon their great success, and for giving to Bowling Green such a first-class and popular establishment.

--Wood County Democrat, February 16, 1900

 Joseph & Pope, Drygoods

Joseph & Pope Stationery

The business enterprise, prosperity and solidity of a city are in a very great measure indicated by the extent and character of her commercial houses. The great dry goods houses, with their co-relative branches of trade have exercised a

powerful influence upon the welfare of the community in which they are located, and in Bowling Green the prosperous and successful establishment of Joseph & Pope has become familiar, by trade and reputation, in all sections of the surrounding county. It is a great factor in the city's retail trade, and its history has been one of liberal ideas, honorable dealings and progressive methods. The house, since being established about one year ago has taken rank as a leader in this part of the county-a position to which it is justly entitled by reason of extensive transactions, magnitude of stock and the well known characters of the gentlemen composing the firm. Through all the years of its existence the firm of Joseph & Pope will maintain, with brightening reputation, the high degree of mercantile integrity and the elevated business enterprise with which it was inaugurated, and will ever be recognized as one of the largest and most reliable houses in northwestern Ohio.

The South Main street premises are large in area, and in the different departments can be found such an extensive assortment of goods that it would be useless to give a detailed description of the immense stock carried. Suffice it to say that it consists of dry goods, notions, ladies' furnishings, cloaks, tailor-made suits, and is as large as any in this part of the state. Their trade is extensive all over this section, and doing such a large business it gives them the advantage over competitors of selling goods at a small margin, and at the same time realizing a reasonable profit. The establishment is a leading representative house of Bowling Green, and the name of Joseph & Pope has become co-extensive with the reputation of the city.

--Wood County Democrat, February 16, 1900

 E. Levine, Drygoods, Clothing, Shoes, Etc.

Many have been the changes experienced in Bowling Green during the past quarter of a century. Enterprises have been started to enjoy only a brief existence. New stores with rosy promises "to beat all records" have packed up and gone, but in all these years, the "old reliable" establishment of E. Levine has kept right along, serving the public faith fully and well, and making for itself a reputation that has entrenched it deeply in the confidence of the people.

The store at No. 15 North Main street, is conveniently arranged, and the stock embraces dry good and notions of the latest styles, ready-made clothing of the finest workmanship, hats, caps and furnishing goods of the most correct shapes and colors and boots and shoes of the most reliable makes. Everything is busy activity about the place. This establishment of Mr. Levine's does not need an introduction, but now, as always, gives honest value for all money expended.

--Wood County Democrat, February 16, 1900

 Sam Riess, Drygoods, Clothing, Carpets

Among the stores of this city none present a more attractive display than that of Sam Riess on South Main street. This establishment, which was started 17 years ago, is fully up to the highest modern standard the quality, quantity and style of goods carried. The double store is conveniently arranged for accommodating the immense stock, while every facility is at hand for the comfort of patrons. The stock of Dry Goods, Notions, Clothing, Furnishing Goods, Carpets, Draperies and the like, are equal to any to be found in the large cities, and low cash prices prevail.

Everybody knows Sam Riess, and that he had the misfortune to lose all he had. However, his reputation for honorable and just dealings is so well established that his creditors will not let him go under, but will continue to keep him stocked with one of the best assortments ever shown in this section.

Mr. Riess is a man of much ability and public spirit, and will be on top again. He wants all to come and see his large display and low prices, and to make themselves at home in his store.

--Wood County Democrat, February 16, 1900

Many other retail stores specialized in Clothing.