Collins, Kessler & Co., The Mourning Store
Life Span: 1870-1871
Location: Southeast corner State and Madison
Chicago Evening Post, June 12, 1868
Several old wooden buildings, which have long disfigured the southeast corner of State and Madison streets, have been removed, to make room for a fine block of stores, soon to be erected by Messrs. Bowen, Whitman & Winsow.
The corner of State and Madison, looking Northeast from ruins of the Chicago Tribune Building at Dearborn and Madison. The Mourning Store was located on the southeast corner (upper right). This corner was to have a fine block erected by dry goods wholesaler, Bowen, Whitman & Winslow in 1868, but went bankrupt before they could build. The lot remained vacant till 1870.
Chicago Tribune, May 8, 1870
Colllns, Kessler & Co., importers and dealers in mourning goods, will open, this week, corner of State and Madison streets, the only exclusive mourning and black dress goods establishment in Chicago and the West. Our stock will comprise all the novelties in mourning, as well as the more substantial lines in dress goods. Ladies may be certain to find everything in this line at the lowest figure, our motto being quick sales and small profits. The millinery and dressmaking departments are in charge of a skillful New York artist. We shall be able to furnish complete mourning outfits at the shortest possible notice, and in time to suit the most urgent orders. We will be glad to receive customers after Wednesday next. Regular opening, May 17.
Chicago Tribune, May 22, 1870
Written for The Chicago Tribune.
Colllns, Kessler & Co.’s Mourning Store.
The new mourning store, on the corner of State and Madison streets, is a feature long needed in our metropolitan life, but is as yet in a transition state. Black need not be all sombre. Am “Easter mourning,” framed and hung in the window, would take off that funeral look. I would suggest too, that the long—fearfully long—black serge stockings, which hang dangling over the counter, be laid away until called for, upon the shelves. What people want to out their legs in mourning for, I cannot imagine. Then there could be an immense improvement in the draping of the walls and windows, and the skirts and petticoats be displayed in the rear of the house instead of the front foor, and a few lighter and more fancy styles be introduced.
Chicago Evening Mail, November 5, 1870
Ladies Business Suit,
made from a new material, of heavy cloth in dark colors, trimmed with same goods put out in fold, or with black velvet, is a neat costume for the street, store, or office, and is one of the new features in fall fashions. These are usually made with an outside wrap, in the sack, cape, or basquine form, according to the fancy of the wearer. The one which I noticed at the Mourning store, was made of navy blue and brown, woven together forming a changeable goods, and was trimmed with bias folds of the same; the half fitting basque had flowing sleeves, which were lined with blue.
Thanks for above due Collins, Kessler & Co., corner State and Madison streets.
Mourning Store Site
Sanborn Fire Insurance Map