Albert W. Gregg and John F. Ackerman opened the Hoosier Store in 1901 in a small building on the northeast corner of Sixth and Main Streets. Just next to it was the Phillips Theatre, which had been a theater since before the Civil War.

In 1910 a young merchant named John F. Bartel bought into the Hoosier Store. That same year the partners bought part of the theater, which had closed in 1908, and expanded the business into that building.



Hoosier Store after expanding into the old Phillips Theater
From the Evening Item, 1912

The new Hoosier Store under construction in 1927.

John's son, Emmett, graduated from Richmond High School in 1908 and moved to Chicago for his training, for a time working at famed Marshall Field & Co. department store. In 1913, he returned to Richmond and joined his father at the Hoosier Store. In the years that followed the Bartels bought out the remaining partners and became owners of the business.

In 1927, the Bartels decided to tear down the existing building and build an entirely new steel and reinforced concrete structure in its place.

 

The Hoosier Store became a three generation company when Emmett's son, Clayton, joined the business.

Bartel’s ad in the 1956 Sesquicentennial program and Clayton Bartel, who was the president of the Sesquicentennial Committee. He is sporting the facial hair that men were encouraged to grow during the celebration.

Bartel's Hoosier Store was a center of downtown activity. Unfortunately, it was located directly across the street from the massive 1968 explosion and sustained considerable damage.

John had died in 1947, and Clayton was in poor health, so Emmett decided not to reopen the Hoosier Store. Years later he said it was one of the hardest things he ever had to do.

The building was renovated into an office building and renamed the 600 Building. In 1973 its owner, Leo Weiss, gave it a new exterior of white onyx with accenting green marble columns.

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