Finding aid for the Halle Bros. Co. Records


Repository: Western Reserve Historical Society
Creator: Halle Bros. Co.
Title: Halle Bros. Co. Records
Dates: 1891-1982
Extent: 13.27 linear feet (11 containers, 32 oversize volumes, and 2 oversize folders)
Abstract: The Halle Brothers Company (1891-1982), a department store known for high quality merchandise and superior service, began on February 7, 1891 as a small hat and fur shop operated by brothers Samuel H. (1868-1954) and Salmon P. Halle (1866-1949). It was located at 221 Superior Street near Public Square in Cleveland, Ohio. They purchased the business from Captain T. S. Paddock. In 1893 the business was moved to Euclid Avenue and East 4th Street due to a need for more space. It was also around this time that women's ready to wear clothing began to be carried by the store. In 1902 the company was incorporated, changing its name from Halle Brothers to The Halle Bros next hit. Co. The store continued to grow, adding both space and departments. A new building was constructed at Euclid and East 12th Street where the company moved in 1910. An addition was opened in 1914 allowing for the addition of new departments including furniture, toys, and sporting goods. In 1921 Salmon P. Halle resigned as president to devote himself to philanthropic work and other private interests. Samuel Halle then became president. By 1927 a new building, the Huron-Prospect store was opened in the Playhouse Square district. Branch stores were opened in Erie, Pennsylvania, in 1929 and Canton, Ohio, in 1930. Although losses did occur during the Depression, business bounced back after World War II allowing Halle Bros. Co. to open suburban branches, beginning with a Shaker Square store in 1948. Walter Halle, son of Samuel, became president in 1946 and Samuel moved to the position of chairman of the board. There was also expansion to their main downtown Euclid Avenue store which was completed in 1949. Problems began to arise in the 1960s stemming from their over-expanded downtown store and sales competition from stores such as the Higbee Co. and May Co. In 1970 previous hit Halle Bros. Co. was merged with Marshall Field and Company next hit of Chicago. Operations continued to decline and Chisholm Halle, son of Walter who had become president in 1966, resigned in 1974. Medium-priced goods were introduced but failed help the stores and in 1981 they were sold to Associated Investors Corporation which closed or sold all stores in 1982. The collection consists of advertisements, annual reports, articles of incorporation, a book draft, brochures, bylaws, cash books, certificates, charts, constitutions, correspondence, diaries, forms, guest books, handbooks, journals, leases, ledgers, lists, magazine articles, manuals, memoranda/notices, minutes, newsletters, newspaper clippings, notes, a play script, press releases, reports, sales data, scrapbooks, and tax records.
MS Number MS 5112
Location: closed stacks
Language: The records are in English