John A. Brown Company, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Check out this new book that
covers Oklahoma City's 3 major
department stores

John A. Brown's downtown store occupied a number
of storefronts on Main Street in Oklahoma City.

The Store expanded over the years to the north
by occupying buildings on Park Avenue.

John A. Brown's last expansion occupied the
corner of Park Avenue and Harvey Street
in downtown Oklahoma City.
John A. Brown Company (1915)
211 W. Main Street
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

CEntral 2-1231


Brown's Colonial Lunch Room • Soda Fountain
Brown's Basement Store

First Floor
Fine Jewelry • Costume Jewelry • Handbags • Leather Goods • Gloves • Accessories • Neckwear • Blouses • Sweaters • First Floor Sportswear • Cosmetics • Toiletries
Park Avenue China • Glassware • Fine Silver • Gift Shop • Housewares • Small Appliance • Fine Foods and Candy • Luggage • Notions • Stationery •Ace Shop Electronic • Cameras
Store for Men Men's Furnishings • Men's Sportswear •Men's Clothing • Men's Shoes • Brass Lantern • Boy's Shop

Book Shop • Scouting Equipment

Second Floor
Town and Country Shop • Sportswear • Gallery Dresses • Misses' Dresses • Coats • Women's World • Miss Contempo • Apparel Shop Dresses • Apparel Shop Sportswear • Apparel Shop Coats • Oval Room • Fur Salon • Bridal Salon • Millinery • Lingerie •Loungewear • Sleepwear • Foundations • Junior Sportswear • Junior Dresses • Junior Coats
Park Avenue Beauty Salon • Photo Studio •Shoe Salon • Casual Shoes • Gallery Coats • Girls' Wear • Toddlers' Wear • Infants' Wear • Children's Shoes •Toys • Sporting Goods • Needle Art

Third Floor
Linens • Bedding • Bath Shop • Fabrics • Singer Center
Park Avenue Furniture • Sleep Shop • Lamps • Pictures

Fourth Floor
Park Avenue Televisions • Stereos • Records • Appliances • Unfinished Furniture • Magicolor Paint Center • Hardware • Garden Shop • Personnel • Cash Office • Credit Office • Executive Offices


College Corner
West Boyd Street at Buchanan Avenue
4,000 sq. ft.

Capitol Hill (March 5, 1948)
319 S.W. 25th Street
60,000 sq. ft.

Penn Square (1960)
N. Penn Avenue at NW 50th St.
130,000 sq. ft.
The Apple Blossom Room

Crossroads Mall (August 2, 1974)
150,000 sq. ft.

Tulsa (1976)
Woodland Hills Mall

Quail Springs Mall (1980)


  1. The Quail Ridge Mall location is actually called Quail Springs Mall, and yes that store along with the rest of the mall did Open in 1980, in 1985 Dayton Hutson then the parant company of Dillards, converted most locations in to Dillards while other stores (In the same mall location where there was already a Dillards.) were closed down, and in early 1986 Dayton Hudson sold these stores to Federated Department Stores for expansion of their Dallas based Sanger-Harris division, this lasted a year before they merged into Federated's Foley's division in January 1987, in early 2006 Federated announced that they had taken over May Department Stores (Who had acquired Foley's from Federated in 1988.), and convert all may stores in to Macy's in the fall of 2006.

  2. Interesting later history of the store! However, Dayton Hudson never was the parent company of Dillard's.


  3. Does any one can remember Lola Pritschow

  4. Yes Lola Pritschow was my grandmother

  5. I lived in Oklahoma City for 4 years, 1983-1987. Browns was one of the last independent department stores, and I loved shopping there. I remember when the stores became Dillards.

  6. I worked there in the early 1970s. I sure miss the place.

  7. Dear Anonymous from December 11th,2012,

    Thank you for your reply. I am locking for the indian in my family and I am Lolas great grandchild. Could you help me filling my family tree?

  8. I sold shoes there in the late 60s. Also at Wanamakers and Blums in Philly. The Shoe Salons in the great Dept stores were really grand! I am glad I had the opportunity cause there isn't anything like them today. I fitted some elegant shoes on a few famous feet too in thoes grand stores. In my dreams sometimes I'm still looking for shoes in the stock room. THOES WERE THE GOOD OLE DAYS...

  9. There was also a John A. Brown in Tulsa's Utica Square.

    1. My grandmother worked there, her name was Lorena Burr or Campbell, not sure at that time. But she used to tell me stories.

  10. Dear Anonymous from the 11th of December,

    I am a greatgrandson from Lola Pritschow.
    Could you help me filling my familytree?

  11. I have a fur hat with lace that goes over face in it's original box from John A Brown Co. Millinery

  12. I'd worked there on the second floor during the mid 60's, then moved up to the offices to
    work in the IBM room for billing. In the outside office was Laura Ambrose-Long, that was
    the new manager when Mrs. John A. Brown died in the late 50's..

  13. I was the Purchasing Agent and then Electronics Buyer for John A. Brown
    I was there from 1974 until 1983.
    I am Jim Morris
    Great place, great people
    Had a lot of fun bringing electronics to Oklahoma consumers
    Atari, Sansui, Zenith, all sort of video games, computer software, microwave ovens, high end music systems, huge sales
    Was on Danny's Day numerous times with the newest electronics to be shown by Danny and I.

    Thanks Oklahoma for everything

  14. I was wondering if there was anyone from the Crossroads Mall location on here. My Grandma (Hazel) worked in the gift-wrap department for a while there. I loved going to visit her at work and watch the gifts being wrapped up.

  15. I remember Hazel, I worked @ Crossroads from 1979-1983 while @ OU! I worked Men's Wear. Anita was my boss..

  16. Does anybody remember the stuffed tiger at the John A Brown store in downtown OKC in the 1960s?
    Can’t remember which department it was in but the manager at that time would always let me hear the tiger roar.
    As a kid that just made my day.

  17. Does anybody remember Mildred Williams Crunk who was a retired buyer for John A. Browns before she died in 1976?

  18. Having my dad or older brother lift me up to the stuffed tiger -- I think it was in the men's suits area if I recall was one of my earliest childhood memories. We would go to Browns and my mom would shop and sometimes my Dad would take me down to the basement for a coke soda or a chocolate malt -- always a grand time. I remember getting fitted for shoes! -- it was a process and an experience - got to have the right fit! AND the staff was always courteous and appreciative. Downtown OKC in the 60s was a grand time. I remember seeing the main street holiday decorations (big bells and and greenery that was strung across the street) in storage one summer at one of the local greenhouse/flowre/plant nurseries -- I can't remember each one but as like a 6 year old - 1964 it was wonderment that I saw inside this barn where all the downtown OKC holiday decor was stored! A WOW moment.
    I came to this site by chance on Christmas Day 2014 as we were reflecting on the 1st Natl Bank Tower lobbies grand annual Christmas Tree and this site came up.
    It is the simple things that families do that create memories -- load up the family today and go out and do something simple and fun -- in downtown OKC. We go to the OKC Baron's hockey games and it is great -- they have great kids food packs and free ice skating on Sunday games after the games. We have heard they may not be here next year which will be just a shame.......
    This is why Christmas Vacation and A Christmas Story are such yealy classics -- it is about the relationships and simple, family fun!
    Hug your family and friends today -- Good Memories at John A Browns Dept Store

  19. Jim Morris. I remember you. I ran into you once at the Crossroads Mall location. I had an atari 400 and Brown's was out of Atari 800s. You told me if I kept the receipt, I could get an Atari 800 when they came in. Loved Browns. My mother would love Browns. i miss them.

    Jim: Thanks for being kind.

  20. I worked at Crossroads. I do remember Hazel. I worked with her. I worked in switchboard, credit office, gift wrap/layaway and the portrait studio. Late 70's. My Mother also worked at Crossroad in Estee Lauder.

  21. Does anyone remember a Velma Mae Green that worked at Crossroads in the late 70's? She was my aunt.

  22. Does anyone remember Ella Jacobson who worked in the beauty shop, I am her daughter.

  23. I remember when the first escalators were installed(late 40s?)we would just ride them up and down for the thrill of it.

  24. I am researching my great-aunt, Gladys Miles, who we believe worked downtown in maybe the early 1930s. How may we locate records that old?

  25. Does anybody remember Lorena Burr or Campbell? She worked in cosmetics, she was my Grandmother.

  26. who was Mrs. John A Brown's secretary in the 1940's and 50's. She lived next door to us, but I can't remember her name. Input appreciated. Thanks.

  27. Anyone here from Crossroads around 1977-1979? Trend shop, jeans, shoes, candy? Steve Davidson, Terry Evans, Roger Desalvatore, Philip Jordan, Matt and Mark Piatt in tshirt shop, Randy Wocjack and on and on!

    1. I floated in various departments until I stayed in Juniors during 78-79. Anyone remember Rod Coots, Mark Seitsinger, Valerie, Anita and Alisa?
      Jana N.

  28. My great-aunt was Laura Ambrose-Long and was president and manager of the downtown OKC store and worked hard seeing that the other stores were in order as well. I remember picking her up at 10pm which was her usual time. Her brother Joe Ambrose oversaw the appliances.
    - Mike DePatie

  29. I have a John A Brown gift box that was in the estate of a former employee. Is there a "museum" or repository for such things?

  30. I worked at John A. Brown from 1971 to 1972 as a stockman and was introduced to my wife (still married for 43 yrs.) by a young lady who lived at the ywca by the name of Geraldine, and she was a elevator operator. I want to know if she still live in Oklahoma City, Okla. If anyone knows, please post. Thanks,God Bless Always

  31. I worked at John A. Brown from 1971 to 1972 as a stockman and was introduced to my wife (still married for 43 yrs.) by a young lady who lived at the ywca by the name of Geraldine, and she was a elevator operator. I want to know if she still live in Oklahoma City, Okla. If anyone knows, please post. Thanks,God Bless Always

  32. I have a John A Brown fur coat.

  33. I worked at Quail Springs from 1982 until the bitter end. As a 17-18 year old high school kid I made enough as a part time electronics salesman to buy my first car and a whole home theater set up before anyone else did that. I had it made. Made lifelong friends there in Derek, Ernie, and Eric. My mom worked across the isle in housewares. Great memories.

  34. The happiest days of my life were spent at Clinton Sherman Air Force Base in Burns Flat, Oklahoma where my Dad was stationed from 1958 to 1962. Burns Flat is in Washita County, tucked away in the western part of the state not too far from the Texas border. My brother and I were kids then, and it was always a treat when our parents packed us into the family car and took us to Oklahoma City to visit friends. Each visit usually included a trip to John A. Brown's Department Store for some shopping and lunch at the store's cafeteria, which I recall was on one of the lower levels. Each trip usually resulted in my parents buying me a Hardy Boys book (remember those?), which I would devour in the back seat of the car during the return trip to Burns Flat. Sadly, my idyllic childhood in Oklahoma ended when my Dad retired from the Air Force in 1962 and the family moved to the east coast, where I remain today. Those happy days in the Sooner state were followed by the JFK assassination, Vietnam, Watergate, et al, forever making cynics out of us baby boomers. But all those disheartening events from the 6os and 70s when I grew into adulthood have never been able to erase the happy memories of my childhood in Oklahoma and those wonderful family trips to John A. Brown's Department Store.

    1. What a nice story. I'm 69 and you hit the nail on the head. Spent my vacations in the 50s and early 60s visiting the grandparents on NW 35 Street. Wedgewood Park, Spring Lake, Will Rogers Park. I live on Lake Michigan but swimming was never better than swimming on the Wedgewood Park pool. Understand the park is no longer there but pool is still there with the apartments!

  35. That's a nice story - and it parallels the lives and experiences of many people of our age. My own story is different in detail, but the same in terms of spirit. Thanks for your insight.

  36. Ok Until today I didnt realize it wasnt a nationwide chain. Lol My mom work there doing hair. I was a small child

  37. When did your mom do hair there? By chance in the 40s until 1947? Please let me know. My mom did hair there, Ella Jacobson.

  38. I remember going to John A. Brown in OKC back in the 50's/60's. I have a glass front china cabinet that is stamped John A. Brown across the back of it.

  39. John A. Brown @ Crossroads Mall was my first job in 1975, but I have a long history with that company. As a small child, it was a favorite destination during Christmas. The downtown decorations are still a favorite memory of a small country girl from Stephens Co. I met the most wonderful people while working there--when "customer service" always came first, and still cherish the many friendships formed during that time.

  40. One of my great grandparents was Sidney Lorenzo Brock, who founded Brock Dry Good, and George Frederickson, who owned Frederickson-Kroh Music, which merged with Brock Dry Goods. Altho S.L. Brock sold the company, we retained ownership of the downtown buildings and Dad represented our interests with store management. I remember walking with my parents though the store with Mom saying "This is your daddy's part, this is Uncle Sid's part, this is cousin Jack's part." Ironically, with a revival of downtown OKC and people moving down there to live, the new residents and office workers are moaning about how there is no place to shop. So the joke is on the people who claimed downtown shopping was dead and no one would want to live down there.

  41. My parents took us to Brown's Department Store in Oklahoma City to see Santa every Christmas season. I have a photo of me sitting on Santa's lap when I was about 3 or 4 years old. I am 70 now, and the memories are still vivid.

  42. LAURA AMBROSE was the "right-hand man" of John A Brown, and eventually became President of Brown's by the late 30s, and the highest paid woman in Oklahoma. You can read more about her at our non-profit website: in the newsletters section. Look for the Czechoslovak Society. The organization is called the American Czechoslovak Landmarks Trust.). Her father, Josef Ambroz, from Strakonize Czechoslovakia built their home on Choctaw Ave, OKC, which is now just in front of the Union Train Station in our new SCISSORTAIL PARK! Choctaw Ave was also the childhood home of MARC MITCHER, who commanded the USS HORNET in the WWII Battle of MIDWAY. In fact, Mitcher liked Czech Kolache so much he was always visiting the Ambrose family and was a childhood playmate of LAURA AMBROSE in the 1890s. His father, OSCAR MITCHER, was Mayor of OKC from 1892 to 1894. His second-in-command was APOLLO SOUCEK, who was a famous Naval Pilot, and his father was Mayor of Medford, OK. Such was the circle of friends around LAURA AMBROSE, PRESIDENT of JOHN A BROWN Co. My mother, HEDVIKA KYZIVAT, was her assistant in the 30s and 40s, and carried the money bags out to the security truck for delivery to the bank each day. Mother loved her long ties to the Brown's store.

  43. After high school, I didn't have enough money to start college, so at 18 years old, I was hired for the 1965 Christmas season in the downtown John A. Brown's location. I was given 3 days sales training. Then, apparently someone in Personnel saw that my application said I had office experience so I was sent to the Credit Office as a file clerk. They never called my supervisor at my previous employer to check to see if I had worked there. I know that because I had worked in the same office with my mother & she had been my supervisor! On the fifth floor at Brown's, I filed sales tickets in the days before Visa and Mastercard. When the 19-year-old secretary to the credit manager and ass't credit manager left to have her 2nd child, I was apparently the only one in the whole office that could type & take dictation so I got her job. Robert L. Frye was the Credit Mgr and Edwin Tobin was the Ass't Credit Mgr. When I saw an employee wearing a corsage that was in recognition for her 20 years at Brown's, that motivated me to save my money like a miser so I could have enough $$ for one semester at OCU because I didn't want to work there for minimum wage for years. I spent 5 semesters at Brown's where I never sold anything but learned office skills and telephone skills that I used to get other jobs and to get through the university with 2 degrees. I still use those skills as a writer. You can take the girl out of John A. Brown's, but you can't take Brown's out of the girl!


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