November 14, 1995
When the C.R. & Co. store at Perry Plaza recently changed its name to Anthonys Limited, it recalled the discussion we had in this space last spring as to whether or not an Anthony Co. store had been in operation here before the present establishment opened its doors. Many people responded that yes, indeed, Mr. Anthony had a prosperous department store on the north side of the square at 633 Delaware, where the Three Sands Oil Co. and Kasper law office are now located. The store had a black and white tile entry and advertised itself as "the store with a checkered front." Several local folks remember it.
The original store here opened on March 1, 1924. Thanks to Mrs. Clara Jane Case of Route One, Marland, we have confirmation of that date in a full-page ad for Perry's C.R. Anthony Co. store which appeared in the May 30, 1924, edition of the weekly Marland/Red Rock Record. Mrs. Case recently brought in a copy of that paper with the ad, and although the original is fragile and breaking apart, a Xerox copy turned out sharp and clear.
Mrs. Case and her husband, Warren, recently fell heir to the old paper and knew that I would be interested in it. The ad is headlined: "Anthony's Trade Expansion Sale!", an event which was to begin the following day. In a note "to the buying public," the ad copy had this to say: "Although we are Perry's newest store, our business since opening here March 1 has greatly exceeded our most optimistic expectations. For purpose of reaching new customers and increasing our volume of business that we may give you still greater values, we are launching this trade expansion sale. The more we sell, the cheaper we can sell. Share our profits with us." So there you have documentation of the opening date, March 1, 1924.
We all know prices and per capita income were both much lower back then, but you'll be interested in some of the specials listed by Anthony in this ad. Canvas gloves were 10 cents a pair; men's chambray work shirts were 49 cents and bibbed overalls were 98 cents ("the kind others get up to $1.75, according to the ad). Men's work shoes were $1.79. Ladies' silk hose went for 98 cents a pair, wash blouses were 98 cents, and black kid one-strap slippers, with rubber heels, were $1.49. Gorgeous gingham dresses were $2.98, your choice.
Mrs. Case also brought me a smaller C.R. Anthony ad from the July 25, 1924, edition of the Marland/Red Rock Record. It announced a clearance sale with some of these attention-getters: Chambray work shirts, all you want, 39 cents each; apron dresses, 79 cents each; boys' overalls, 59 cents; and 100 brooms free to the first 25 customers making a purchase of $5 or more. The brooms were said to be worth $1.
In a few years, Anthony pulled out of the Perry market and did not return until the fine new store at Perry Plaza opened last spring. They were warmly welcomed because our community had been without a department store for several years until C.R. & Co. came along. I think they made a wise marketing move by changing the name to Anthony Limited. The Anthony brand is well known but C.R. & Co. did not readily tell you that it was part of the same business.
The Marland/Red Rock Record had been defunct for many years, but judging from the copies Mrs. Case brought in, it was a prosperous weekly serving an important part of Noble county. I appreciate her thoughtfulness in sharing her copy of this old paper with me.