Greeley Daily Tribune from Greeley, Colorado on March 9, 1976 · Page 31
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Greeley Daily Tribune from Greeley, Colorado · Page 31

Greeley, Colorado
Issue Date:
Tuesday, March 9, 1976
Page 31
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Tun,., M.r,-h 9, 1976 GKKKI.KY (Cuki.) TKIBUNK A-7 Harry Hibbs had faith in self, Greeley THE SECOND STORE - The second Hibbs Clothing Co. store was occupied from 1912 to 1915 when Harry Hibbs bought his own store at 818 8th St. From left are Frank Mathews, who 40 customers on 8-party lines for many years was the advertising manager of the Greeley Daily Tribune, a customer wearing a new coal he had just purchased; Harry Hibbs, and Ray Reed. Phone system began in '94 In 1894, you could have placed the entire Greeley phone system in a large box and carted it off. That was the year the telephone system in the city began. Compared to today, it wasn't much. Forty customers had telephones in their homes. Headquarters for the system was a tiny switching unit in Hubert Reynolds; drugstore downtown. There was only one tong-distance line out of Greeley and that ran to Denver by way of Fort Collins. Whenever a Greeley resident wanted to make a long distance call, either Reynolds or one of his drugstore clerks had to drop what they were doing and place the call. In those days, everyone hnd an eight-party line. In 1976, elimination of rural eight-party lines is the top project for Mountain Bell. The rural service projects are part of Mountain Bell's four- year Rural Improvement Program (RIP) begun in 1974 to eliminate eight-party service in Colorado. The first two years of the program cost $16.8 million statewide; the total cost of the program when completed next year is expected to be double the original estimate of $13 million. Tom Kottenstette, Mountain Bell district manager, said the company plans to spend more than $700,000 in Greeley this year for various improvement projects. More than 75 per cent of those construction projects will be for rural customers. Kottenstette said more than 1,450 Gre«ley customers were on eight-party service when KIP began. The 1500,000 being spent in 1976 for those rural customers is in preparation for converting them to four-parly or less in 1977, he said. In addition to the work scheduled in Creeley this year, the company has scheduled service improvement projects in other exchanges in the Greeley calling area. Koltenstette said more than $250,000 will be spent for 350 rural customers in Eaton, $140,000 for 250 Johnstown rural customers and $215,000 for 390 rural customers in La Salle. Those projects will eliminate eight-party service in (hose areas. More than $375,000 was spent in Ault in 1975 in preparation of eliminating eight-party phone service for 300 rural customers in that area this year. Kottenstette said all surrounding exchanges in the Greeley calling area should be converted from eight-party to four-party service by December, 1976. He said lijuil additional telephones were installed in the Greeley area in 1975. That represents an eight per cent increase to a total of more than 55,090. In 1974, the company gained 2,400 telephones. Kottenstetle noted, however, that for each additional telephone gained, the company connected and disconnected 14 telephones. Despite the growth of 3,100 telephones, Kottenstette said the number of unfilled requests for telephone service in Greeley are the lowest since the boom growth began in the area in tire late 19G03. Only 46 customers were without their requested service in the Greeley calling area as of Jan. l, 1976. the day after Independence Day in 1911 a young man stepped from a train at the Greeley depot with much en- thusiasuin, but limited finances. The young man had faith in himself and faith in the future of Greeley with its thriving population of 5,000. And he was fired up with the vision of someday owning the largest and finest men's clothing store in Northern Colorado. The young man was Harry Hibbs and his faith in himself and Greeley proved lo be well founded. Hibbs determined to sell the finest brands and quality of men's and boys' wear and to build his business on the policy of service to the customer. Hibbs believed in backing the quality of his merchandise with the integrity of his own name. His first store was on Ihe north side of 8th Street, in the 800 block, next door to Ihe old Greeley National Bank building. The people of Greeley liked what they saw and bought, so much so in fact, that it became readily apparent that Hibbs Clothing Co. had to have more room. A larger store in the same bluck iBtw bill SU, bul across the streel and farther west in a portion of the area now occupied by the J.C. Penney Co. was remodeled. This was in 1912, only a year after founding of the slore. Business continued lo increase and Hibbs had another ambition -- to become his own landlord in still a larger store. In 1915, Hibbs bought and moved the clolliing company lo 818 8th St. During this time, Hibbs saw his clothing firm become the major and respected company it is today. With H. T. (Hap) Ise who joined the firm in 1912 and Elmer Baker who joined in 1915, Hibbs Clothing Co. set about establishing itself as a store of famous brand names. Lcvi's, Pendlelon and Arrow are three of the brands seen on H'bb?' slu'lvc? "Jint'p Ilic Hay if first opened in August, 1911. Also High brook e, Hibbs' own brand of mens' suits, have graced Ihe shelves since then. Other famous brands have been sold by Ihe firm for decades. In 194C, Hibbs opened a basement store with special departments including western wear. From then to i958, the basement store alone brought in more than $100,000 yearly. On March 1, 1958 Hibbs Clothing Co. moved lo its fourth and present location in Greeley - the biggest yel - at 814-816 9th St. According to Harlan Houtchens, president of the firm, the move to Ihe location began Feb. 27 and they were open in the new store on March 1, without losing a day. He said Hibbs Clothing spent about $50,000 remodeling the store, Ihe site of the former Greeley Dry Goods. Houlchens said the been remodeled several times stockrooms were on the main and last summer a moss rock floor at first, but after two front was added to the store, years more space was needed, giving it a contemporary look, so all of (lie reserve stock v/as Houtchcns said Hibbs, who moved lo the basement and retired in I960, still comes into backroom. ihe store almost every day In 1966,anew traditional shop when he isn't pursuing his called the "Loft Shop" was favorite hobby of dry fly added. fishing. Located on the balcony level Houlcliens, who became at the rear of the store, the president of the firm when "Loft Shop" features attire for Hibbs retired, isn't exactly a tastes ranging from the newcomer to the company. He "pleasantly conservative" to started in 1940 sweeping floors the "strikingly contemporary." and running errands while he Houtchens said the slore now was still in high school, and lias 8,000 square feet on the except for a stint in (he Army main level and 2,500square feet and attending Ihe University of in the loft. They moved the Nebraska, he's been there ever store's offices from a balcony since, section in front of the store to Almost 63 years have passed the basement level about a year since Harry Hibbs stepped off ago. the train with liis dream - a Hgutchcns said the store has jream that came true. UNCLE SAM Invites You to stop by KING'S FOOD HOST 1321 8th Avenue James Cash Penney... started a REVOLUTION on Main Street, U.S.A.! Ever since Mr. Penney started the Golden Rule Store In Kemmerer, Wyoming, seventy-four years ago, the J. C. Penney Company has stood for quality merchandise, community cooperation, customer service, and planned growth, and as such started a revolutionary new Idea In department stores. We are proud to have shared in the growth of Greeley and its area, and count our many customers as our many friends. 824 Eighth Street

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