M. E. EDELSON IS IRONTON’S OLDEST BUSINESS MAN IN POINT OF SERVICE; ACTIVE 57 YEARS
Ironton Sunday News, October 9, 1949
Submitted by: Sharon M. Kouns
Horse street cars were providing business men with fast transportation on Second street and dust was shoe top deep on Third street, in September 1892 when a young man came to look Ironton over and decided to go into business here in a vacant room on Third just below Center.
The new store was named the Baltimore Bargain House, and the stock was so limited that the sales room, which was only 18×44 feet had to be partitioned off 15 feet in the back, so that the store would have an appearance of being crowded with merchandise.
The young man who started that store was Morris E. Edelson, Ike and Louis Kirsner, and after remaining in business for 57 years, Mr. M. E. Edelson today is the number one active senior man of the city in years of service. There are, perhaps five or six business names older than Mr. Edelson, but none still under the management of the man who first started the business.
In the spring of 1896 Mr. Edelson purchased his partners’ interest in the store and under his own name, moved to the Neekamp building on Second street, where his business continued to grow. The new room had one of the largest single plate glass windows in the city, and the store front was among the most attractive at that time.
Ten years later, the Edelson store moved a few doors south to the corner of Second and Center streets, when the new advertising slogan of “Meet Me at the Corner” was adopted. This move put the store on the line of travel to the ferry boat, at the foot of Center street, where all the C. & O. workmen passed, and business continued to grow.
Second and Center was then the main business corner of the city, and with a big electric arch over the street intersection, all street cars stopped on this corner. Twenty years later, in 1926, Mr. Edelson decided Third street was becoming more popular as a shopping district, and moved to the Russell building between Park and Center, and it was in this location that he saw the Bank Holiday and other decline in business in general, and in 1936 moved to Center street, in a much smaller location, where he got the 1937 flood waters to the ceiling. Thus tells the business story of one of the oldest active merchants in the city today.
After successfully establishing himself in the clothing business, Mr. Edelson began to think about a wife, home and family and in 1903 he was united in marriage to Blanche Hammel, and three charming daughters come to bless the home, all of whom brought honor and credit to their parents – Alfreda, Rowena and Evelyn, who are today Mrs. Karl S. Fantle of Fort Dodge, Ia., Mrs. Leslie Schradski of Ashland, Ky., and Mrs. Martin E. Weill of Dayton.
Mr. Edelson recalls the first time he saw Ironton that the county had as many blast furnaces as the city has filling stations today, and a filling station then hadn’t been dreamed of. He recalls how it was important to have a large line of overalls as most of the citizens worked in the nail mills, saw mills, or blast furnaces.
He recalls the boom days and the dull days, and how he worked hard and long hours to get to the top, and when nearing the top, how he invested in enterprise for a Greater Ironton, the benefits from which he never reaped, yet he says it is a happy thought that the losses are proving gains for the entire city now.