Dec. 29, 1979: Hope's Toggery Closes Its Doors

Tuesday, February 2, 2021
On Dec. 29, 1979, an era came to an end in Downtown Doniphan when owners Chester and Doily Hope announced that Hopeís Toggery would close its doors after 33 years in the same location at 105 Washington St. Chester Hope had got his start in business when he and his brother, Bertrand, opened a dry cleaning business in the back of Jabe Greenís barber shop. Because of the highly combustible nature of the chemicals used, the cleaning was done by hand in a small, unheated building behind the shop. Hope eventually bought out his brotherís share of the business and added an electric washer with an extractor. With help from his wife, a line of clothing was added and Hopeís Toggery was on its way to becoming one of Doniphanís most fashionable clothing stores. They carried menís shoes and clothing, Curlee suits and Rainbow work clothes. The Hopes pressed their older daughters, Barbara and Emma Jo, into service and the girls helped out with the dry cleaning deliveries. A move was made to the Washington Street location and the newest in dry cleaning equipment was purchased in St. Louis. At itís peak, the toggery business and dry cleaning operation required 10 employees as a large route of pickup and deliveries was run. Eventually the dry cleaning business was sold to Theo Tanner and moved to 133 State Street. With extra space, the Hopes expanded their clothing business to include womenís ready-to-wear. Pictured above is Hopeís Toggery during itís heyday in the late 1950s during a promotion for Lee Overalls. (P-N Archives)
P-N Archives

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