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The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

WILLIAM TAYLOR SON & CO. - The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

WILLIAM TAYLOR SON & CO. was one of Cleveland's leading department stores. Wm. Taylor and Thos. Kilpatrick opened a 1-room dry goods store on EUCLID AVE.. at PUBLIC SQUARE, 21 Apr. 1870. Taylor, Kilpatrick & Co. introduced a 1-price system for its business, and in a few years added a wholesale operation with 36 salesmen dealing in clothing, furniture, and jewelry. Taylor, a strict Presbyterian, insisted the store's display window curtains be closed on the Sabbath and forbade Sunday newspaper advertising. In 1885 Taylor's son, John L., joined the partnership, and when Kilpatrick left the city in 1886 the store was renamed Wm. Taylor Son & Co. After Taylor and his son John died, John's wife, SOPHIE STRONG TAYLOR†, became president in the 1890s and directed the store for over 40 years. The company incorporated in 1901. When Taylor's outgrew its quarters in 1907, it moved to a new 5-story building at 630 Euclid Ave.; 6 years later 4 more stories were added and employment reached 1,500. In the 1930s it acquired the adjacent Taylor Arcade and the Clarence Bldg., completed a $500,000 modernization program, and changed its name to Taylor's Dept. Store. In 1939 (when Sophie Taylor's estate was liquidated), the May Co. acquired a substantial interest in the business, which continued to operate independently under its own name. May's interest in Taylor's was revealed in 1945 when a $2 million expansion program was completed in conjunction with the store's 75th anniversary. In 1958 the company opened a branch at SOUTHGATE SHOPPING CENTER in MAPLE HEIGHTS However, on 16 Dec. 1961, May Co. closed Taylor's downtown store because Cleveland's declining retail business made the operation of 2 major competing department stores impractical. Its Southgate store was taken over by May, and in 1964 the downtown store was remodeled into an office building.

Wallen, James. Cleveland's Golden Story (1920).

Last Modified: 23 Jul 1997 02:11:32 PM

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