View Full Version : 1920 OKC Through the Eyes of Kress

Doug Loudenback
02-19-2010, 04:21 PM
S.H. Kress was not only an early day retailer, it was one of the most prolific publishers of post cards all around the country, including Oklahoma City. Usually, the cards were hard-stock single cards but it also produced quality fold-out folio cards as well. When at the Abalache Book store last week, I happened across one of the latter sent by H.L. Miller who lived at 900 W. 18th to R.O. Miller in Terre Haute, Indiana. The postmark is "Oklahoma, Oklahoma," before the time that the postal service used the word, "City," for our town. I'm just guessing, but I'm guessing that these cards were sent from a son to his father back in Indiana. The sender's home at 900 NW 18th was built in 1917 three years before the mailing occurred and is located in what is known as Mesta Park today, a bit east of the Homeland at 18th & Classen.

I'm guessing that the Kress postcard production was done in 1919 or 1920. Including the front and back cards, the group totals 20 cards. One is an aerial of Oklahoma City from which I've made a few crops for detail.

The post is here: Doug Dawgz Blog: 1920 OKC According To S.H. Kress (

Some of the cards are shown below (click for larger, 1500 px wide): ( ( ( ( (

When these cards were assembled, Oklahoma City's population was 91,295.

02-20-2010, 12:43 PM
Interesting that the first card shows the State Capitol building WITH the dome!

USG '60
02-20-2010, 01:17 PM
And speaking of Kresses, whenever we talk about the first sit-ins having been in OKC we talk about Katz and John A Brown Cafeteria, but one was going on at Kresses by the second day at Katz. It seems like the fountain counter was up on the mezzanine. That may have been the only time I was ever in there so my memory could serve me wrong. Surely others remember more about it. Let's fill in the historical void.

I hope this is not a hijacking of the thread, Doug. It just seems sorta important.

Doug Loudenback
02-20-2010, 07:12 PM
USG '60, what you said is not really on-topic, but what you said is not only "sorta important," it is, in my opinion, top-level important, and should have no void but should only be flush with accurate historical information.

Thanks for the suggestion.

02-20-2010, 07:15 PM
Absolutely fascinating stuff Doug.

USG '60
02-20-2010, 09:58 PM
If I have ever seen it corroberated in the press, I don't recall it, Doug. But I'll bet Clara Luper knows and I think she is still among us. I'm sure you know already and I imagine she would give YOU audience so let us know what you find out regardless of the source.

Doug Loudenback
02-20-2010, 10:31 PM
Thanks, Mid & USG' 60. I'll see what I can find about the Kress sit-ins.

03-11-2010, 07:47 AM
F.W. Woolworth was the "God Father" of the Dime store era. But, the one that I didn't like competing against was Kress company. They already had it when we (TG&Y) got something in new. It became a desperate challenge to beat them to the draw. Now, many people think Kress is the new K Mart but, it was Kresge that developed K-Mart....The managers of S.H. Kress company were required to worked so many hours (coming up through the ranks) on Window Dressing before they got a store as manager. Even before they closed their doors, they always had the front of their stores displayed well....I sometimes wondered if TG&Y didn't attempt to copy Kress as Kress always had a "Brass-Looking" decal on their windows woth the name S.H. Kress and Mr. Young had (Variety store days) Brass signs (TG&Y) hanging under the awning. The only one I know of that's left is owned by "GOLDENT63'" on this nostalgia thread.....