Saturday, July 23, 2016

Hamilton, Missoui -- Home of??

Yes, we know Hamilton, Missouri because it is the home of Jenny Doan and the Missouri Star Quilt Company. But, Hamilton was also the birthplace of another famous entrepreneur...
Long before Al Doan started the Deal of the Day -- Hamilton, Mo. had another famous son....
Hamilton, Missouri is the birthplace of James Cash Penney
There is a small museum inside the town's library.
With a very creepy wax figure of J.C. Penney.
Old-school displays-- his story is told with pictures on bulletin boards. With some captions.
An old fashioned scrapbook you could leaf through and read.
If you had a LOT OF TIME, that is...(and your sister wasn't insisting it was time to go shopping on the OTHER side of the street -- because maybe we missed something -- and did I see what the Deal of the Day was??)
J.C. Penney didn't die until 1971.  Here's his Wikipedia bio
I'm not sure why all this shoe fitting stuff became part of his display.
But these shoes are here because Mr. Penney decided to put a shoe factory in Hamilton, Mo. Pretty clever way to support his hometown, eh?
J.C. left Hamilton and actually started his work life in Wyoming. He became very, very rich in the 1920's. He lived in New York City (he's buried there) -- and had extensive real estate holdings and a luxurious home in Florida. He lost his personal fortune during the crash of 1929, but bounced back and died a multi-millionaire. He went to work every day until his death in 1971.

One of the interesting tidbits we learned was that he had an affection for the family who ran the local dry good store in Hamilton (they gave him his first job and excellent training), so he refused to open a store in the town because he did not want to compete against them. The J.C. Penney store in Hamilton was actually his 500th location.
AND he put the Penney's store in the same building where he had his first job.

1 comment:

  1. I've really enjoyed your "Hamilton stories - sharing your trip to Missouri Star Quilt Company and the retreat were so much fun! And I liked learning about the Singer and JCPenney histories. Thank you for taking time to research and write those.