Southern Utah News Articles
Top Stories for March 16, 2011
History on the old Kanab Equitable Store
Heber Cram started a confectionery and a bowling alley on Center Street. In time he added general merchandise and took the name Kanab Wonderland. Lovina Swapp clerked for him. Later he sold to Benjamin Hamblin who changed the name of the business to the Ben Hamblin Store. Lettie Young was his clerk. This store flourished for a time, but later on it was sold to John W. Glazier.
In January 1909, the Kanab Equitable was organized. The original stockholders were James E. Bunting, Charles R. Pugh, Leonard B. Pugh, H.S. Cutler, Jet Johnson, Brigham A. Riggs and Eleanor J. McAllister. They bought the Kanab Wonderland Store building and opened up a mercantile business with Leonard Baily Pugh as manager.
After a time they purchased the John W. Glazier store and moved their business into his brick building, which had been called the Exchange Building, the Cutler and Company Building and the Glazier’s Store.
As business increased, they constructed a larger building in 1912 (recorded at the Kane County Courthouse in 1913), which they occupied from then on. The Kane County Courthouse shows Guy and Vera H. Chamberlain as owners, and on September 17, 1945, they sold the Kanab Equitable to Creeley Harry Ackerman.
Most people remember with fondness the memories they had shopping and visiting this store. At the very back of the store was a wide staircase leading to the displays all around the top story. It was open to the middle of the store, with a railing all the way around it.
Oh such fun when the Christmas toys were put on display and the children could climb those steps to a fairyland with surprises. The parents would watch from the floor below if they didn’t have the energy to climb up the stairs with them. What a delightful time of year to have such a great store.
I remember as a child visiting Kanab. We came to see my grandfather James Arthur Brown. He delighted in teasing his grandchildren. As mom, dad, my little brother Art and I arrived at his big house and the greetings had been exchanged, grandpa suddenly needed something at the store. So he sent me to fetch it for him.
I was to see Mr. Ackerman, as he would know all about what my grandpa needed. So off I went a block to Center Street, turned left to the middle of the block, and the store was on left hand side. Upon arrival, I announced what was needed. Mr. Ackerman asked who my grandfather was and I explained.
He said, “I’m sorry. You tell Jim I am fresh out of striped paint today, but will be getting some later in the week.” Upon reaching grandpa’s big house I delivered my message still chewing on the gumdrop.
Then grandpa remembered he needed a quart of pigeon milk and sent me back to the store. Mr. Ackerman was glad to see me again. He was chewing on a big cigar and was dressed in his long white store apron with the string tied in the front. He was willing to serve me again and took time to look for the pigeon milk, which he was also out of. He had a big grin on his face and said he couldn’t believe he was out of everything my grandpa needed, as he handed me another gumdrop. I thought this was a good thing for me as I was satisfying my sweet tooth by running grandpa’s errands, even if Mr. Ackerman was out of everything.
I lived in Mt. Carmel and was glad to get to the city where there were so many conveniences. I noticed the spools of thread of every color and wished grandpa had needed one of those. I was very interested in that department and wanted to see more of the sewing notions. I had never seen such a variety of embroidery flosses. How easy it would be to find the color that one needed to finish embroidering an article. The buttons were contained in a little chest of drawers on a carousel that would spin around so each drawer could be checked out. There were several of these chests.
Duke Aiken bought the Kanab Equitable and remodeled the building, calling it Duke’s Clothing Store.