Hemphill-Wells' store in Lubbock was built in 1950
replacing an older store.
Hemphill-Wells Co. (1922/1950)
13th and J Streets
DOWNTOWN STORE DIRECTORY
Appliances • Barber shop
Fine Jewelry • Silverware • Costume Jewelry • Handbags • Gloves • Belts • Accessories • Hat Bar • Lingerie Bar • Hosiery • Cosmetics • Women's Shoes • Children's Shoes • Candy • Fine Foods • Stationery • Luggage • Men's Furnishings • Menswear • Men's Shoes • Gentry Shop
Fountain • Rondeley Room Restaurant • Book Shop • Customer Service • Cash Office • Credit Office • Travel Center • Salon of Beauty
Piece Goods • Notions • Closet Shop • Bedding • Bath Shop • Linens • Housewares • Kitchen Appliances • China • Glassware • Crystal • Lamps • Gift Shop • Boys' Wear
Lingerie • Foundations • Robes • Uniform Corner • Maternity Shop • Beachwear • Sportswear • Ladies' Dresses • Career Shop • Better Dresses • Signature Shop • Fur Shop • Bridal Shop • Millinery • Coats • Suits • Junior World • Girls' Wear • Toddlers' Wear • Infants' Wear •
Beauregard Avenue and Irving Street
Big Spring (1946)
214 Main Street
Village Shopping Center (1955)
50th and Flint
Loop 289 and Slide Road
I was raised on Hemphill-Wells in San Angelo, Texas. It was an amazing store, starting from the 2 inch thick heavy glass doors, to theReplyDelete
smell of leather and perfume...I managed to
somehow inherit two chairs that were used in the shoe department of the downtown store.
That location is now the new San Angelo Library.
Thanks for this website! It is Fun!
I wondered how long it would be before someone noticed and commented after I posted the information about Hemphill-Wells.
I wish I had a nice black-and-white illustration of the newer San Angelo store like the others; perhaps I will acquire one soon.
Kind thanks again for sharing your memories.
The new Hemphill Wells still shows on Google Earth. You can do a screen capture and grab it. It no longer exists. It is now our new library.Delete
Is the Hemphill Wells directory that is posted the same as for the San Angelo store?
Thanks...always fun to see the way things were.
I would have to assume that the San Angelo store had the same departments, but a different floor layout than the flagship in Lubbock. I would like to acquire an ad image of the store from the paper when it opened; it is an interesting building and must have been a fine store in its time. Alas, at present, I don't have access to the local newspaper, so I can't publish a gistoric image or picture.Delete
Any help a local might like to provide would be very appreciated!
I have searched for years for photos of the Christmas windows at the downtown Lubbock store with no luck. I recently took an art class from a renowned artist, Kathleen Cook in Kerrville, Texas. I found out she was one of the window designers in the 50's and 60's, and even she has no photos. What a shame and great loss. The Christmas windows were magical beyond anything I can describe. Does anyone have ANY knowledge of the existence of any photos?ReplyDelete
The downtown Lubbock Hemphill-Wells building now houses the operations center of PlainsCapital Bank, where I worked for several years. Although the building has been made over, there are still lots of nooks and crannies to remind you of its former life. It's a really interesting building!ReplyDelete
I remember Hemphill Wells in Lubbock, San Angelo, Big Spring. The South Plains Mall location style was more of a Sanger Harris knock off. Love the downtown San Angelo store what a work of urban revival. I also recall shopping at Sakowitz and when I lived in Toledo at Tiedtke's and Jacobson's. And in Fort Worth, Texas Striplings and out on Camp Bowie Blvd Coxes. Memories and days when stores had personalities.ReplyDelete
I loved the South Plains mall location of Hemphill-Wells in Lubbock. What a great store. I remember going for lunch in the Gold Room with my mother where models walked around in the latest early seventies fashions. The graphic design on the bags was mid century modern heaven with sheep, cattle, oil wells etc... on amoeba shapes.ReplyDelete
I remember Hemphill-Wells at South Plains Mall in the seventies. I lived in Friona, TX about 100 miles nw of Lubbock at the time. It was such a big deal going to Lubbock and South Plains Mall. It was a disappointment when it closed it's doors. It is now A Dillards dept. store. Those were the good ole' days. I now live in NW Arkansas.Beautiful country. I still miss Lubbock. Thanks, Larry PaizReplyDelete
The Hemphill-Wells store in downtown San Angelo was there through the early 1980's. I worked there from 1968 until shortly before Dillard's bought the stores. J. Culver Hill donated the Lubbock newspaper ad scrapbooks to Texas Tech. I started to work in the Lubbock downtown store under him in 1962. Sue FletcherReplyDelete
Bruce. have you seen the picture of the downtown San Angelo store at http://www.flickr.com/photos/army_arch/501377154/ ? There is also good info about the stores there. Sue FletcherReplyDelete
I grew up in the Hemphill-Wells in downtown Lubbock, from the time it opened in 1950. My mother shopped in other clothing stores, but I only liked going to Hemphill's. The staff were so good to children! They treated us as if we were real people! I loved looking at the bones of my feet through the x-ray machine in the shoe department (and spreading x-rays all over Hemphill's, no doubt!) I loved watching the pneumatic tubes. I loved seeing the make-up people blending powder to the exact skin color of the customer, and pressing it into compacts! I loved going up the escalator. I loved walking up to the tea room on the mezzanine for a sandwich. When Christmas came, I was transported into fairyland by the beautiful displays in the windows. I remember how wonderful the Christmas giftwrapping was. There was never a store, before or since, as wonderful as Hemphill-Wells in downtown Lubbock. Thinking of it makes me want to cry--for happiness, because I was blessed enough to be able to spend many years shopping there. I only wish my own children had had the privilege.ReplyDelete
Agreed! 💯 Fond memories of bliss! Oh the things we took for granted! ❤️Delete
I too grew up going to Hempills in Lubbock and saw all of its phases. I still have many items purchased there. What a treasure and way of life we have lost. If any one is familiar with the Margaret,s store that was in Lubbock at the same time, we have an exhibit dedicated to it at the Science Spectrum in Lubbock with original clothing and fixtures from the store.ReplyDelete
I too grew up with Hemphill Wells from a baby up until they moved to the mall. My mother would take me shopping there every weekend for so many things, we would shop then go to the Tea Room for lunch and afterward we would go and do more shopping for all the diffent holidays to casual wear. It would be so much fun. One I also enjoyed about shopping there you would never see the samething over and over. It was truly a wonderful & beautiful store. My mother to this day still own several of the shopping bags and she also owns a jewlery box from there and she also have a box from them. I will always cherish the memories of such a wonderful store. Thank for making shopping so much fun. BJ of Lubbock, TxReplyDelete
Bruce I have several things I would be willing to share. I have an image of the downtown San Angelo store, a scan of the bag design that was mentioned in an earlier post and I have images from microfilm from a special section that was published in the San Angelo Standard-Times when the "new" downtown store opened in the early 70's. Just let me know.ReplyDelete
Thanks Robb, for your generous offer . . . if you can e-mail them to email@example.com, I will be more than delighted to enhance the exhibit with your material. I added you to my google "circle" but I don't know if that means that you can transfer the pictures to me in any more direct way. If you cannot scan them, e-mail me at that address, and we'll find a way.'ReplyDelete
Again thanks, and Merry Christmas!
I was one of the lucky people who got to work at that magical store in downtown Lubbock, Texas, familiarly known as "Hemphill's." The store was directly across the street from Anderson Brothers Jewelers and down the street from Malouf's men's store. I got a job at Hemphill's in the men's furnishings department when I was fresh out of high school in 1976; my bosses were Kenneth Leslie and Walter Wright, both true gentlemen. In our stockroom we had some antiquated stock that should have been in a museum -- including 1920s detachable shirt collars in their original boxes. (Hemphill's policy was that they would accept returns of any merchandise, no matter how old, no questions asked.) The eleven exterior display windows, which featured theatrical-style lighting and a strip of "paint with light" spotlights across the entire back wall, were accessed through the various stockrooms on the ground floor, so we saw the display staff frequently. I was intrigued by what they were doing, so after a few months I transferred to the display department to work for Verne Wiggins (she and her husband, "Wig," were known throughout the country for their incredible Christmas window displays). I look back on that job as the most fun I've ever had in my entire professional life. I worked there full-time until I started college, then continued off and on throughout the rest of my college studies. As visual merchandisers, my coworkers and I got to explore every nook and cranny of that store (including the roof, where we would take large props to spray-paint), and of course we knew nearly all of the store employees. The store carried top-quality merchandise and featured--all packed into a relatively small space--a fur salon, travel agency, bookstore, restaurant (called a "tearoom"), and an open mezzanine-level lunch counter, where you could perch on a stool and observe the first-floor goings-on from above. The cosmetics department kept records on its customers so it could custom-mix face powder for them; many of the salespeople knew their customers and would give them a call whenever something came in that they thought they would like. Hemphill's gift-wrapping was second to none. It was a remarkable level of customer service that's now, sadly, a thing of the past! --Brad in Santa Monica, CAReplyDelete
The images jumped off the screen with this recount!! ❤️ thank you!!Delete
Thanks for sharing your great memories, Brad. I worked in the store in Lubbock from April of 1962 until April of 1968 when I moved to the HW store in San Angelo, Texas to be the Ad Manager there. The advertising office of the Lubbock store was on the mezzanine straight down the hall from the elevator on the right, Culver Hill, an exceptionally good man, hired and helped me throughout my careeer of near 20 years with the store. Sue FletcherReplyDelete
I have 2 of the Italian angels used in the store windows in downtown Lubbock. My mom bought them at the closing auction and left them to me. She used them in her windows every Christmas at 17th and Slide. As soon as I purchase a home I will use them as well.ReplyDelete
I recently listed an old Hemphill-Wells paper sack on ebay. it is very large with great art of oil wells and cotton and the classic h/w Logo.ReplyDelete
has some damaged areas but lots of great real estate for crafting, etc... please search ebay for:
1980's paper sack from Hemphill-Wells Dress Lubbock, Texas cotton and oil wells
For the past year and a half I have been putting together a collection of photos of San Angelo in the 50s ad 60s for my 50th reunion. I am currently trying to find specifics about the cafeteria that many say was located in the basement of the downtown Hemphill Wells. I have photos of and remember Luby's being in a building behind Hemphill Wells (late 50s), but I have read several sources that mention a Furr's Cafeteria. Was the cafeteria in the basement of the San Angelo H-W a Furr's or a Luby's? Was it totally inside Hemphill Wells or did it utilize the Luby's building with a passage-way to H-W's basement? What were the years? Do you have any pictures? Many, many thanks for any help. Cathye MoonReplyDelete
Aaah the memories as a youngster in Lubbock. I loved their windows all year round but Christmas was a wonderland, setting the mood for the holidays, especially when the temperatures were on the warm side. It was a great disappointment when the malls surfaced with no windows to dress up for Christmas. And it's hard to believe no one has any pictures of those magical scenes! Now one must travel to Chicago to see delightfully dressed windows around the old Marshall Fields building. How sad.ReplyDelete
There was a Furr's cafeteria across the alley on the Irving Street side from the new HW building in San Angelo. There was never a cafeteria inside the store.ReplyDelete
I worked for Hemphill's South Plains Mall location in the 80's. I worked the children's department and absolutely loved it. This was during the time that the Madam Alexander dolls were collected and we always had these priceless dolls put away for those special customers who could afford to buy them. I'll also never forget getting in Cabbage Patch Dolls and having them open the front doors downstairs to a stampede of people running up the escalators. Such great memories of a time gone but not forgotten. :) Regina Jones HavensReplyDelete
My sister worked at the downtown location and when I was only 16, I bugged the hell out of Vic Hines to work at the mall location. He finally hired me at 16 and I worked in Boys & VIP (Polo) and in the rotunda area. At 17 for a history project, I made a model of the first downtown location based off of pictures and info from Mr. Wells. Wish I still had all that stuff, not sure if I even have a picture of the model. Arthur JohnsonReplyDelete
Someone above asked about the various departments in the stores. The old San Angelo store...that beautiful, classic building with the arched windows above the doors had five floors plus a basement. My father was a buyer and ran the fourth floor which was gifts, china, drapery fabrics, housewares and lamps. The fifth floor was a work room where drapes were made and upholstery was done. The third floor was ladies ready to wear, the second floor was a mezzanine which held a book store, the boys department and the offices. Men's wear, shoes, jewelry and cosmetics was on the ground floor. I don't remember a barbershop in the basement, but it was "bargain" good including Levi's brand jeans.ReplyDelete
My father was a buyer for Hemphill-Wells and ran the 4th floor. How could I get an image of the "old" store, the one with the beautiful arched windows over the doors. It was torn down to make way for the store that's now used as a library.ReplyDelete
Mary Rogers firstname.lastname@example.org
I remember going to Hemphill-Wells at South Plains Mall as a young single mother. I had moved to Lubbock because I had been hired to teach 7th grade math, my very first job out of college. Another friend of mine, also a single mom teaching in Lubbock, and I used to meet at the Gold Room for lunch. It was so much fun. I wish I could find their wonderful custard recipe. It was the best ever.ReplyDelete
Hey Mary Russell Rogers! Your father, Bill, was a distant cousin of mine. My maiden name was Hardy. I moved from Lubbock, where I had worked for the downtown store under Culver Hill for 5 years, to San Angelo to be Advertising Manager in 1968. Your Dad was a fine man. I have many fine and fun memories of himReplyDelete
Just this past weekend I bought five maple-and-glass display cases that I think came out of a Hemphill Wells location. The restock drawers at the bottom were lined with Hemphill Wells' packing/wrapping paper. I will try to make a scan of the paper and send it in.ReplyDelete
In my late sixties now, but I fondly remember many shopping experiences at HW downtown in Lubbock.ReplyDelete
It was truly a one-of-a kind for Lubbock. One of the memories is of the "chime/bell/whatever" that
could be heard often as we made our way through the building's departments......not sure if
it was from entrance door openings, for employee communication or some other purpose, but it
was a very unique sound that I've not heard anywhere else. Is anyone familiar enough with it to identify what it was and what was its purpose ?
What a great bunch of memories! I also grew up in the '60s going to the downtown Lubbock location--the tea room, reached by an escalator with plexiglass hand rails, the pneumatic tubes, the luggage department and especially the travel agency where they generously gave me all kinds of brochures for exotic cruises, some of which I still have.ReplyDelete
I remember the wonderful windows especially at Christmas in the downtown Lubbock store. It made me want to go to Chicago and New York to see the windows since I knew they couldn't rival Hemphill Wells. I loved going up to the mezzanine to the Tea Room with my momma and having a sprite with lime and a cherry in it. If if was very good she might take me to the bookstore on the mezzanine as well and I might get a new "Little House" book. I loved that they carried the little dresses that Buffy on Family Affair wore. Hemphill Wells was always a very special place for me. My momma was an alterations lady there from 1969-1971. Visiting her at work was such a treat! Hemphill Wells was shopping at its finest. I hate that it's gone. It was a special time I could spend with my momma as well.ReplyDelete
Thank you for your lovely memories . . . it sounds like your Momma was a dear woman and I appreciate being able to share your memories, as I am sure are other visitors to this site!ReplyDelete
My wife worked in window display at HW while a student at Texas Tech in the early seventies. She later used her display skills at exclusive stores in Colorado. She was given a prop from the HW Christmas display which traveled all over the western U.S. with us and hung over our mantle during the holidays for 30+ years. Good memories.ReplyDelete
Does anyone remember the date of the fire at HW?ReplyDelete
I to was raised in HW! When my sister and I got older all our special events were hosted at the Gold Room. I have looked for ages for the open face turkey sandwich! No Luck so if anyone has a hint for me please forward!ReplyDelete
My Grandmother and Mother shopped in the stores in Lubbock and my Mother modeled in the downtown store while she was a senior at Lubbock H.S. and went to Texas Tech. I remember the mall store and especially the Gold Room where we would eat lunch, I loved their pimento cheese sandwiches and creme brûlée or hot fudge sundaes. There was a lady who worked in the children's department and later in the juniors department who continued her position with Dillard's, named Toddy that always remembered me when we were in department and she knew what I liked. I really miss the store.ReplyDelete
Rebecca Cunningham Knight
I loved Hemphill Wells! Bill Collins, who became president of the store, lived with my grandparents and dad while going to Tech. He started out working in the shoe department and just kept going until he was at the top. My mother even worked in the hat department for a while. I was hired to work there by Newt Robinson in the summer of 1964, after graduating from Monterey. I started in the basement marking in products. I remember "Red" was the head man. Then in August I was put on the "College Board " made up of high school and college girls. We modeled clothes in the tea room at noon, helped with selling and assisting customers in the womens and juniors clothes dept.( Mr. Mark Creed was the manager for the ladies clothes at that time) and we were in the big Style show held at the Lubbock auditorium (next to the coliseum) on the Tech campus. I did that for the next 3 summers but I also worked part time through the school year! Hemphill's helped put me through Tech! I did change to the Monterey store, but I loved downtown best! It was truly a fantastic place to work and I have many wonderful memories...the people, the yearly sales after Christmas when we all braced for the crowds that came thundering up the escalator, and so much more! Thanks for letting me share and remember!ReplyDelete
I grew up around Monterey Center, where the second Hemphill Wells store was located. The large columns on the south side of the store were made of precast concrete, made by Caprock Stone Company, which was owned by my uncle Garland. I fear that they were torn down along with the rest of the structure. I can't even find a photograph of them now.ReplyDelete
Wow! What a wonderful trip down "memory lane". I worked at First National Bank on Broadway in Lubbock while my husband attended Texas Tech from 1963 until 1968. I loved Hemphill Wells and would shop there on my lunch break often. I loved the children's department and purchased almost all of my toddler's clothes there. He was chosen Mr. Tiny Techsan at Texas Tech and rode in the homecoming parade on a convertible wearing a red dress coat & cap that I purchased from Hemphill's. The announcer just simply made several comments about his coat and cap and his wave to the crowd. His photos were on window display often wearing clothes from Hemphill's in the photography studio on Broadway...many butte knits short pants and knee socks. I was told by many people that John John Kennedy had nothing on my son! Before my husband graduated we were in Dallas and I shopped the children's department at Neiman Marcus and I did not see anything that was better than Hemphill's. I also purchased many gifts for loved ones that lived in other cities at Hemphill's while I was on my lunch break. I then could simply leave and those gifts were gift wrapped and mailed to the recipients for me! What wonderful customer service! When my husband graduated and we moved to Austin, Texas....I was working at a bank downtown....I went one day to purchase a gift for a relative at the Scarborough's on Congress Ave. I asked the clerk if the gift could be gift wrapped and mailed for me and she looked at me as if I was from another planet! I also noticed that some of their sales items at that sore looked as if they were "2nds" and inferior! That store was a huge disappointment for me when it was considered the best department store in Austin. It could never compete with Hemphill's. I also loved the fact that Hemphill's only had 2 sales each year and it was the present seasonal stock....never 2nd's! I remember that the line for customers waiting to enter wrapped around the block. Thank you for taking me back to some wonderful memories!ReplyDelete
Does anyone remember that the first Monday of the month was called. They always had fantastic sales on that day. I remember standing outside waiting for the store to open. Great memoriesReplyDelete
The first Monday of the month sale was called Dollar Day.ReplyDelete
Here is a link to a photo of the original (old) HW in San Angelo. https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth50415/m1/1/ReplyDelete
I will never forget as a child my dad bought my mom a mink coat from the Lubbock store. I couldn't wait for her to open it. When she did, I knew it was so special because of how it was wrapped. Mom gave me the coat when I was a young adult and I still have it. Has to be almost 50 years old now. Will never part with it.ReplyDelete
I, too, have special memories of HW. Especially the Gold Room. My bridesmaids luncheon was there and I’ve been trying to find the recipe for their shrimp curry w. rice. There are all kinds of recipes for shrimp curry but none of them seem to be similar to what I remember. They also, had a raspberry ice that I loved and I have mastered that delish dish! If I come across anything like the Turkey sandwich I’ll get back to you. I assume that it was served hot?ReplyDelete
The above comment was sent by LamtanabananaDelete
What a delight reading people's memories of Hemphill-Wells. I worked in all three of the Lubbock stores. I started at the Monterey Store in early summer of 1972 while I was in college at Tech. I worked in the office. Later I was transferred to the Downtown store, then, to the SPM location after I graduated from college. In total I worked for Hemphill-Wells for 5 years. So many wonderful memories and great people. Too many to mention. Besides at this age, I'd probably forget someone! It was almost 50 years ago.ReplyDelete
The “chimes” came from a miniature glockenspiel (4 or 5 bars) manually struck and broadcast over the public address system. There were many memorable experiences for someone growing up in Lubbock during the’50’s. Next to a trip to Minter’s, across from Lubbock High, to look at the actual Lionel trains I had been studying in catalogs for hours, my favorite destination was Hemphill’s. Mother purchased many good looking Munsingwear, Macgregor, and Chips boy’s clothes for my brother and me with the assistance of a nice young man named Ronnie. Although we never became scouts, David and I were always fascinated with the pine-paneled scouting department and its scout paraphernalia. A visit to the tea room for lunch was always a treat. The white-frocked “dietician”, Miss Crump, and her staff consistently provided guests with an efficient, friendly and delicious experience. We would eat at the counter for speedier service, since we had a lot of ground to cover on Saturdays. Fare was a grilled cheese sandwich and a 400 (chocolate milk and ice). Next would be a perusal of the little book store where we would add to our collection of Dr.Seuss stories or a series of books on nature topics. One Christmas season, while admiring a beautiful flocked tree in the ladies dress department, I noticed a particular snowman ornament. While pointing it out to my mother, the sales lady overheard my enthusiastic comments, walked over to the tree, removed Frosty, and presented him to me. That ornament always had a special place on our family’s trees, and that gracious lady’s gesture, typical of how Hemphill’s served their customers, young or old, still has a place in my heart.ReplyDelete
Flipping through a recently acquired Hardy Boys novel (1950s version) I found a Hemphill-Wells promotional bookmark for the “Little Bookshop on the mezzanine.” Thanks for helping me to identity it.ReplyDelete
Wow everyone!!! What a treat I happened onto!! Thank you all so much for the nostalgic stroll!! It all came flooding back!!! ❤️ReplyDelete