The Laderer-Baird Clothing Company was one of the first mercantile establishments in Bartlesville. It was first housed on Second Street in 1904. ‘In May, 1910, Laderer-Baird opened in double quarters at 111-113 East Third Street and promptly placed a huge sign with their name across the Mound west of the city.’ (Teague, History of Washington County, Volume 2, Page 157). What makes this unique is through the years there isn’t mention of any other signs on the Mound, except for Phillips Petroleum signs, including the K.S. ‘Boots’ Adams birthday party signs. (Although the business was not located at the Mound, the Laderer-Baird Clothing Co. advertisement banner was a significant part of the Mound history).
We took a magnifying glass to study the sign that is on the Mound in the picture above. This post card picture was taken by one of the first Bartlesville photographers, Oscar Drum. Although this particular post card was postally used in 1912, it is possible to have been taken in 1910, and these cards could have been mailed up to several years after printing. The sign appears to read Laderer-Baird Clothing Co., which has the right amount of words.
Laderer-Baird was a high end boys and mens clothing store. It went out of business in 1933, thus serving Bartlesville for 29 years. One of the things that set Laderer’s apart from their competitors was their display windows. Gerald Brown, display manager, won nationwide recognition through trade journals, and won many prizes offered by national firms for the most creative display windows. The Morning Examiner published a photo of the interior view of the Laderer Clothing ‘Modern Store’ on Sunday, September 27, 1925. The Laderer Clothing Company also operated stores in Claremore, Oklahoma, and Salina, McPherson and Independence, Kansas.
Employee personnel news and photos found in the newspapers:
- Harry Hewitt of Hiawatha, Kansas, went to work on July 14, 1905 at Laderer’s in Bartlesville. He eventually worked up to manager in 1918.
- L. N. Brown is a new salesman at Laderer’s, and was formerly with the Model Clothing Co. in Dewey. March 11, 1912.
- Bud Dienst leaves next week to take a position with the Dave Frankie Clothing Co. in Okmulgee. He was with Laderer’s here for 6 years, and before that he was with the Master’s Clothing Co. July 3, 1919
- Julius Krueger and N.O. Bender of Independence, Kansas arrived in Bartlesville to assume duties of the management of Laderer’s. November 7, 1924.
- In 1925, the Morning Examiner published pictures of Laderer’s personnel: Nate O. Bender, manager; Andy Regehr, salesman; James Kyle, clerk; O.L. Dutcher, alterations; Mabel Morsman, cashier; and Douglas Anderson, salesman.
A couple of the ads that were published in the Morning Examiner newspaper in 1928: