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Marshall-Wells Hardware merchandise is loaded and ready for delivery to various railroad lines for transport. The first horse-drawn sleigh will take the orders packed into it to the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis and Omaha depot. The truck behind the sleigh is destined for the Soo Line depot. The next in line will be shipped on the Great Northern railway and the one after that will go to the Northern Pacific. The Union Depot served seven railroads including the GN and NP. It still stands as the St. Louis County Heritage and Arts Center. All of the other depots are gone. The Marshall-Wells Company started in 1886 as Chapin and Wells Company a wholesale hardware business. Albert Morley Marshall, son of Seth, bought controlling interest in 1893 and changed the name to Marshall-Wells Company. The company grew to include 14 wholesale offices throughout the northwestern U.S. and Canada. In 1955 Ambrook Industries Inc. of New York bought controlling interest. Kelley-How-Thomson and Marshall-Wells merged January 1, 1958. Kelley-How-Thomson had been a subsidiary of Marshall-Wells since 1955 when Ambrook bought Marshall-Wells and reorganized. The Coast-to-Coast Stores bought the Duluth division of Marshall-Wells-Kelley-How-Thomson Company in 1958, which ended the Duluth firm’s operation. Also in the image are the People’s Hotel 246 Lake Avenue South, and the Lyceum Theater billboard.

~ Photo Credit: University of Minnesota Duluth, Kathryn A. Martin Library, Northeast Minnesota Historical Collections

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Published On: January 1, 19191.1 min read0 Comments