Legacies: A History Journal for Dallas and North Central Texas, Volume 21, Number 1, Spring, 2009 Page: 11
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lot directly behind the store which offered spaces
for 15 cents an hour.27 This meant taking the
streetcar was no longer the only means of getting
A new era was beginning, but it was the
beginning of the end of the Sanger name on a
downtown store. Sanger's was sold to Federated
Department Stores of Cincinnati in 1951, but
the name was retained until a 1961 merger with
another venerable department story, A. Harris, to
create Sanger-Harris. In 1966 the complex of
buildings that had housed Sanger Brothers since
WW I was sold to the Dallas County
Community College District to use as the
downtown campus now known as El Centro.28
The A. Harris department store merged with
Sanger's, but only after seventy years of com-
peting with it for customers. Prussian-born
Adolph Harris arrived in Dallas in 1887 to run a
dry goods store for several years before buying
out his partners in 1891 and renaming the store
A. Harris. He moved the premises to the south-
west corner of Elm and Murphy the next year,
then added a third floor and bought property to
the west of the store for expansion.29 In 1912
Harris died unexpectedly while on a buying trip
in New York, and his son-in-law Arthur L.
Kramer, husband of his daughter Camille, took
over running the store. Adolph's son, Leon
Harris, was named vice-president.30 Within their
first year, the new officers decided that the store
needed more space and would move into the
first five floors of the new Busch Building at
Main and Akard. The Busch Building is known
today as the Kirby Building.31
A. Harris' emphasis on customer service was
printed on the back of every sales slip: "This
transaction is not considered closed until you are
absolutely satisfied with your purchases." This
pledge created generations of satisfied customers,
and even today A. Harris customers from the
1950s have fond memories: one has never for-
gotten the floor walkers who wore carnations in
their lapels and knew absolutely everything you
asked about the location of merchandise in the
store; another recalled her satin wedding gown
with buttons down the back that cost $80.32
Among the most warmly recalled memories
of A. Harris was the "Night Before Christmas in
Texas That Is" which was created by Adolph
Harris's grandson, Leon Harris, Jr., in 1950. It
Was Turned Over To
The new "White Store" is yours. The huge struc-
ture that you have watched since the foundation was
laid on bed rock is a reality, housing as it does the finest
equipped retaiell store in the South. Thousands of people
passed through the store yesterday and tens of thousands
will see its beauties hereafter. The openng of this hand-
some store is a function in which all are partlcipat4g.
For is this not the people's store? Did not the people
help to build it? Are not the majority of DallIdtw In-
terested in its future development? This magnificent
home is more than a place to house merchandise, more
than a handsome well-appointed interior surrounded by
wells of glistening white. It Is an Institutlon-an ex-
position place where the world's choicest products are
assembled and where a spirit of liberality and a generous
welcome is ever present.
A cordial invitation is extended to all to come and
inspect this latest addition to the fine retail establish-
ments of Dallas.
Test our service during the next
few days. You will find little
friction'and no delays. , .
i; .1 .
C I, 4 U.=,
In 1913, A. Harris proudly announced its move into
the new Busch Building at Elm and Akard.
Spring 2009 LEGACIES I I
VVIIH TM P
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Dallas Heritage Village. Legacies: A History Journal for Dallas and North Central Texas, Volume 21, Number 1, Spring, 2009, periodical, 2009; Dallas, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth66966/m1/13/: accessed April 20, 2021), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Dallas Historical Society.