Reader Bob Reese was kind enough to loan me a copy of Cape’s 1956 Sesquicentennial book. It took me half a day to scan it, but it’s a treasure trove of information, just for the advertisements alone. A lot of them are plain text “Congratulations for surviving 150 years,” but there are a few with logos and artwork I don’t remember seeing. (You can click on the images to make them larger.)
Hirsch Bros stores sold in 1955
The Southeast Weekly Bulletin had a story on December 22, 1955, that Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Hirsch have announced sale of the Hirsch Bros. Company’s two retail outlets in Cape Girardeau, Mr. and Mrs. Vernon V. Fee having purchased the Hirsch Bros. No. 1 store at Good Hope and Sprigg Streets, and George Hirsch now being the owner of the Hirsch Bros. No. 2 store at Main and Mill Streets.
Mr. and Mrs. Fee, who will operate the No. 1 store, plan to call it Hirsch’s Midtown. They have indicated that they will consolidate the grocery and variety departments and operate them as a self-service unit. Gilbert Popp will be assistant manager, with Bob Fee assisting in management of the food section and Richard Riddle in charge of the meat department.
The No. 2 store will be known as Hirsch’s Northtown, with Mr. and Mrs. George Hirsch in charge. The store will be redecorated, with some interior changes made.
The Hirsch Brothers Co. will remain an active corporation, retaining ownership of the store buildings and its other holdings. An office will retained in the Hirsch Building and the present officers will continue. They are Alfred Hirsch, president; George Hirsch, vice president, Mrs. Florence Hirsch Fee, treasurer, and Mrs. Alfred Hirsch, secretary. Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Hirsch have announced their complete retirement from the retail business.
Building is holding up well
The old Midtown building is still in pretty good shape, compared with its neighbors on Haarig’s Good Hope Street.
I can remember going in there with Mother when I was a kid, but we were more of a Broadway and Child’s customer, probably because we lived on the north end of the world. I’m almost positive that I was never in the Northtown store at Mill Street and Main.
Wife Lila, who lived just a few blocks from the store, remembers it more as a department store. I remember it for groceries. I guess it all depends on what kind of shopping your parents did there.
22 Replies to “Hirsch’s Midtown”
We would go there with Mother and walk upstairs where all the sewing material (dry sundries) was located. I have the old porcelain enameled body “Peerless Perfect Balance Your Weight One Cent” scale with ceramic tile platform in my house. Still use it. Makes a great bank for pennies.
I have good memories of shopping there with my great granma as she lived nearby on Benton Street. It was still a vibrant neighborhood then, with many shops and of course St. Francis, where Mother was in charge of the Operating Room.
MY GRANDPARENTS LIVED ON BLOOMFIELD ST WEST OF PACIFIC ST. AND I REMEMBER WALKING UP THERE WITH THEM TO SHOP THE VARIETY AND GROCERY STORE. I CANNOT REMEMBER IF THEY DELIVERED THEIR GROCERIES OR NOT. I ALSO REMEMBER RUHS MARKET ACROSS FROM WHERE MEYER SUPPLY IS LOCATED AND THEY DELIVERED THEIR GROCERIES. I ENJOYED THOSE DAYS WITH MY GRANDPARENTS.
I worked at Farmers and Merchants Bank in 1963 and 1964 across the street from Hirsch’s Midtown and would shop there for yard goods and notions on many of my lunch breaks and even after work. When Jerry and I were first married, we lived in an apartment in the 800 block of William Street so I’d usually walk to and from work and stop at Hirsch’s for a few groceries when Jerry was working on the river. When he was home, he did all the shopping and cooking, just like he does now!
I also remember going to Hirsch’s with my mother. I don’t know why but our family always referred to the store as Hershey’s – why? I don’t know but always wondered. There was some type of office above the store, also. I do remember the scale that you referred to.
My husband’s grandmother worked at the dry goods counter at Hirch’s in the 50’s. Her name was Mrs Keller,and knew everyone. She had beautiful grey hair and was so friendly. I have lived in Vegas fo 55 years
but remember my good old home town and all the stores
I shopped with my mother.
Like Rose, I too, had grandparents that lived on Bloomfield west of Pacific at 1009 Bloomfield between Benton and Hanover. The stories about walking to Hirsch’s sound all too familiar.
I went to work for Hirsche’s Midtown when I was 16 in the fall 1968 for .98 an hour. Went to Food Giant in June of 69 for a whopping $1.60 an hour and thought I was rich!
Alfred and Ruby Hirsch were my great uncle and aunt. I have many fond memories of Hirsch’s. I can still remember going upstairs and buying fabric there. We called my great uncle Uncle Hershey.
Hi Jane! Ruby and Al were my great aunt and uncle, too. Al (or “Owl” as I called him way back when) was my grandmother’s older brother. Funny how men of that generation were known by their last names – many people – including my grandmother – called my grandfather, “Fee” rather than Vernon.
Thank you for more wonderful memories, Ken. I spent many an hour of my childhood running the aisles of that old store, from the upstairs “off limits” areas to the dirt floor cellar when my dad, Bob, would be working on the motors which kept the refrigerated and frozen cases operational.
This is all the more poignant as my dad was recently admitted as a resident at Cape’s Veterans Home. It’s good to know that Hirsch’s, which was such a big part of his life for so many, many years, is still fondly remembered by others. I know it meant the world to him.
My dad, Otis Sams, was a meatcutter at Hirsch’s Midtown many years ago. Several years ago I met someone who remembered my dad and remarked that dad always had the best looking meat counter in town. My grandparents lived on Benton Street and I walked to Hirsch’s with my grandfather quite a few times and he would always buy a treat for me.
Here are historical photos and background on Hirsch Brothers stores:
I worked for National Foods also known later as Del Farm. I had a lady ask me one day how to get up stairs. I told her we didn’t have an upstairs. she said we did as she had been up there many a time.I told her the only way to get up stairs was a ladder on the back of the building which would take you to the roof.She then realized she wasn’t in Hirsch’s. I was also told there was a butcher there at Hirsch’s that smoked. They said he would smoke and never take it out of his mouth or drop the ashes off the end while he was cutting meat.
thanks for bringing back those long ago memories.. remembering Hirsch’s store…we lived on
good hope, grandparents on Hanover, I went to Jefferson school..so I remember going to the Hirscheys store and meat market many times as a child, granddad buying me a treat..such fun to run through such an enormous store..
also Harrig was such a fun place to go, especially the drugstore, sitting on a barstool and enjoying an ice cream cone…those were the days!!
I also remember Hirsch’s –I remember the dentist above Hirsch’s–He was a very short man-His name was Dr. Bunch–There was many steps to climb to get to his office, Does anyone remember the Dentist? I’m sure it was the Hirsch building.
I don’t remember that specific dentist, but I do remember climbing all those steps to the offices housed on the 2nd floor. The access was just around the corner from the parking lot, on the Good Hope side. Even in the late 1960s, the hallway seemed old-fashioned. I now remember it having a very 1940’s quality to it, as if Spencer Tracy or Humphrey Bogart would walk through a door at any minute.
I bought some 16mm movies from an antique store that belonged/we shot by the Hirsch family. They are fantastic! Scenes of the big floods, some of downtown etc.
I copied onto video….I think over 40 minutes worth or so…
Hi Scott, my grandfather was George W Hirsch. I was wondering if this film you have is on the internet somewhere or if I could get a copy? It would meanaa lot to me. Thank you, liz
THE SECOND FLOOR DID HAVE A DENTIST, DR. BUNCH, THAT I USED TO GO TO. HIS DAUGHTER IS MARRIED AND A DENTIST ALSO WITH THE RUOPP FAMILY. THERE WAS A BLIND DR STEVENSON, A CHOIRPRACTOR UPSTAIRS. I CAN REMEMBER IN THE EVENING WHEN HIS HOURS WERE OVER HIS WIFE WOULD DRIVE UP AND HIS NURSE WOULD HELP HIME DOWN THE STAIRS TO THE CAR. THERE WAS ALSO AN ATTORNEY KUESENKOTHEN(NOT SURE OF SPELLING) UPSTAIRS THAT MY COUSIN,SUE KING,WAS A SECRETARY FOR BEFORE GETTING HER TEACHING DEGREE AND MOVING TO ST. LOUIS.
HAVING COMPUTER PROBLEMS THIS MORN.AND HOPE THIS DOES NOT POST TWICE. DR. BUNCH,THE DENTIST,HIS DAUGHTER IS NOW A DENTIST AND MARRIED DR.RUOPP AND JOINED DR RUOPP’S DAD IN DENTISTRY AND HAS AN OFFICE ON BROADWAY A COUPLE BLOCKS FROM McDONALDS. THERE WAS A DR.STEVENSON,A CHOIRPRACTOR,WHO WAS BLIND HAD AN OFFICE UPSTAIRS. IN THE EVENING HIS WIFE WOULD DRIVE UP AND PARK AND HIS NURSE WOULD LEAD HIM DOWN THE STAIRS TO THE CAR. THERE WAS AN ATTORNEY KUESENKOTHEN, (NOT SURE OF SPELLING) UPSTAIRS. MY COUSIN (SUE KING) WORKED FOR HIM UNTIL GRADUATION FROM SEMO AND GOING TO ST. LOUIS TO TEACH.
Surely by now, you’ve been advised that the “Dr Bunch DDS” was Lydia Bunch’s (class ’62) father.