Do you miss shopping at Neusteter's?
You may remember the last Neusteter's store closing in 1986, but do you know how the company (which served the Denver area for nearly 75 years) began?
Max David Neusteter was the oldest son in a family of five boys and three girls. By age 13, Max was selling newspapers to help support his family. When the Neusteter family moved from Cincinnati to St. Louis in 1892, Max took a job at the Stix, Baer & Fuller Department Store as a stock boy. Over the course of six years, he worked his way up to becoming the assistant coat and suit buyer.
While working as the general manager of women's departments for Stix, Baer & Fuller, Max opened his own women's specialty store in St. Louis. Max's brother, Meyer, assisted him with the store's operations, and soon they established a second store in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Around this time, Max's health began to decline, and he was advised to move to Colorado to regain his vigor. Max stayed in Estes Park for two years to convalesce. While on a visit to Denver in 1911, Max caught wind of a clothing store set to close on 16th Street called Phillipsborn & Co. The retiring owners sold the store to Max in July 1911.
In the span of two years, the original 3,000-foot floor space had to be increased to 9,000 feet. Max and Meyer closed their Lincoln and St. Louis stores in 1914 to focus on the Denver business that was rapidly expanding. The basic principle behind the brothers' business was that good fashion was good fashion, be it a high-priced gown or a moderately priced dress. This variety of price points at Neusteter's helped to build a wide customer base for the store.
The Neusteter Co. opened a "new and enlarged establishment" at 720 16th Street on September 6, 1924.
Max Neusteter died in 1925 at the age of 51. Well-known in the community for his retail business as well as his dedication to charities such as the Jewish Consumptive Relief Society and the Denver Sheltering Home for Jewish Children, a local newspaper article reported that hundreds of friends and employees paid tribute to Mr. Neusteter at his funeral. The Neusteter store closed for the day in his honor.
The Neusteter Company continued to be family-owned and operated after Max's death. The Cherry Creek Neusteter's, the last of the Neusteter's stores, closed its doors on May 26, 1986.
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