Leonard’s Dept. Store

Leonards Department Store postcardWhereas mom favored shopping at department stores like Striplings, Cox’s or Monnigs, my father preferred Leonard’s or “Monkey Wards”. This made those two stores frequent destinations for father-and-son Saturday outings, particularly Leonard’s. To a boy age 7 or so, there was simply no comparison between going with mom to Striplings and with dad to Leonard’s. What made Leonard’s special? For one, it had a subway that shuttled customers to and from their remote parking lot. That would be the only selling point a kid would need, but there’s more: the store was great, with a dizzying array of merchandise that was presented in a delightfully cluttered fashion. One invariably found cool things you didn’t expect, which was no doubt the plan. Shopping at Leonard’s was an adventure.
The correspondence on the back of this linen card, which is postmarked June 5, 1944, reads like many other postcards and letters from the era:

Dear Jean,
Here I am at Ft. Worth at the U.S.O. dropping you this card, having a swell time, wishing you were here.
Love & Kisses,
Joseph Marting
Camp Swift, Texas

Do you ever wonder why things like this are no longer in the hands of a family member? Aren’t there any sons or daughters, nieces or nephews, who would treasure this? Perhaps there are no living descendants. Whatever the case, the simple humanity they display can be cherished by all.


Leonard’s Dept. Store — 3 Comments

  1. Interesting store. I’ve never heard of that chain.

    I feel the same way about old photographs and postcards. There are just so many of both items for sale in every antique store and lots of other places. Seems odd to have that much volume of personal history out of the hands of family members.


  2. There is a Leonard’s museum. It is run by a family member. Between White Settlement Road and West 7th street, just north of the old Montgomery Ward building.


  3. Robby Robb:
    There is a Leonard’s museum.It is run by a family member.Between White Settlement Road and West 7th street, just north of the old Montgomery Ward building.

    I’ve heard of the museum for years, but I’m ashamed to say that I’ve never visited it. Gotta do it!


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