Thursday, April 13, 2006

J.C. Penney opens first store - April 13, 1902

On April 13, 1902, James Cash Penney (1875-1971) opened his first store in Kemmerer, Wyoming. It was called the Golden Rule and was actually opened jointly with Guy Johnson and Thomas Callahan.

When Johnson and Callahan decided to quit their partnership, they give Penney the chance to buy them out. He does and opens up more stores. By 1916 there were more than 88 stores, including some on the eastern side of the Mississippi. They start phasing out the Golden Rule name in favor of J.C. Penney.

Penney gave up the Presidency of the company in 1917 but was the chairman of the board until 1946. He died early 1971, having gone to work three days a week as the honorary chairman of the board up until a fall that broke his hip late 1970. He took the bus to work up until 1965. Penney was nearly 90 when he was finally convinced to take the company car.

J.C. Penney’s website
Wikipedia – J.C. Penney


Anonymous said...

I have a tool(metal) that says
"J.C.Penney Co. Display School"
Does anyone know what this is?

Shadowspun said...

I have no idea. I'd contact the company proper to see if they have a school like that in their history.

Anonymous said...

I want to know if jc penny was the first majior department store and how jc penny changed america?

Tig said...

I suspect Sears Roebuck from Chicago had been around a long time before Penney's opened.

Shadowspun said...

True, but does it really matter when I was basing this entry of the specific date?

casertadue said...

Was JC Penney the man who didn't hire an executive if he seasoned his food before tasting it?