The Mader Clothing Co. was first established in 1893 by the clothing merchants Volz and Reuter at 125-127 South Fourth St.. They operated the store eleven years before Frank Jr. bought Volz’s share and the firm became Reuter and Mader.
“…It is the busy store of the town. All that is new and substantial in the line of clothing is kept in full stock, nothing is carried over from old seasons. Their goods sells on merit and their success is due to sound business principles and fair dealing. They are experienced and efficient salesmen and good judge of the goods at hand. A choice line of shoes from the standard factories are carried and a substantial patronage is theirs. They are also agents for the New Home Sewing Machine. Their store is an attraction in all its departments and clerks pleasant and quick. They are rated high in business circles.” (1)
Reuter and Frank Mader Jr. were partners for 10 years when Reuter was bought out by Frank Mader Sr. “to set his sons up” and the store became the Mader Clothing Co., Frank Jr. having 1/2 interest and Joseph and Henry 1/4 interests each.
Frank Jr., the principal owner and manager, was in charge of clothes, Joseph was in charge of the shoe department, and Henry was bookkeeper.
At one time the clothing store was a thriving and prosperous store. During World War I, it was going quite well. The store was primarily a men’s store. At first, they carried only men’s shoes and when they expanded into ladies’ shoes, the style changed and they were stuck with a whole bunch of women’s shoes.
The venture that started so promising led to disagreements between the brothers. Although they were in business together, their families didn’t socialize on holidays.
Frank Jr. purchased Joseph’s share upon his death and in 1940, also bought the building. The two brothers remained in business until 1951 when The Mader Clothing Co. was sold to Frank Wanner. It then became known as Mader’s Store for Men.
Wanner eventually sold the men’s store to Herchan who still called the store Mader’s. Because of bad management and other reasons, Herchan went bankrupt and sold to Dad and Lads, a men’s store chain. The building still remained in the Mader family and was sold in 1977 by Frank Jr’s. daughter Florence to Dad and Lads.
Joseph Mader Jr. had been an employee of the store for 50 years until Dad and Lads closed its doors forever. (2)