Created By: Old Cowtown Museum
The Fechheimer Clothing Store, located in the Business District of Old Cowtown Museum, represents the growth of mercantile business, change in technology, and Jewish immigration to Wichita during the 1870s.
Fechheimer’s clothing store represents a specialty mercantile clothing business. Fechheimer’s clothing store departed from the traditional general store, which sold some clothing in addition to various other necessary supplies for a frontier city. Exclusive mercantile services were aided by the advantages that the railroad brought to Wichita in 1872. Businesses like Fechheimer’s clothing store could meet the demands of a growing metropolitan community with a continuous supply of specialty clothing, tailored goods, and top‑of‑the‑line fabrics available for use in the latest fashions.
With the style of mens clothing and the clothing practices during the civil in manufacturing sized uniforms.Manufactured clothing was available to men, while women’s clothing was still being tailored to the individual. Clothing stores carried ready-made clothing for men and boys in standard sizes.
Max M. Fechheimer, the son of a Jewish immigrant from Bavaria, came to Wichita in 1869. Following in the family business footsteps, Max opened a clothing store on Douglas Avenue in the late 1870s on a lot that he purchased from Wichita founder William Greiffenstein.
In addition to the clothing business, Fechheimer opened a saloon and a beer garden ‘in 1873. Fechheimer was active in the Jewish community in Wichita. He helped to establish the first Jewish congregation in the city, the Holy Emanu‑El.
He became a prominent local entrepreneur and left his imprint in the form of the Fechheimer Block, a commercial building in which he rented office space.
The Fechheimer family, based in Cincinnati, Ohio, prospered over the years and is now a leading manufacturer of police, fire, postal, and band uniforms.
The building that houses the M.M. Fechheimer's Dry Goods & Clothing is an 1895 false-front structure that was originally located in Wichita in the 900 block of South Lawrence (now Broadway). It was brought to Old Cowtown Museum in the early 1960s.
This point of interest is part of the tour: Old Cowtown Museum Tour