Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Minear Family Legacy in Greensburg

The history of Minear's is almost as old as Greensburg itself. The store was originally owned and operated by Emory R. Minear way back in the 1860's. Emory was born in West Virginia in 1833. At seventeen, he traveled to California - like many other young men at that time - in search of gold. After seven years and some success, Emory gathered his earnings and moved to Ohio, where he got started in the dry goods business. He met and married Rosetta (Rosa) Self, whose father Sherman Self was also a dry goods merchant. Emory and Rosa moved to Greensburg with their young son in 1864. 

Sherman Self also moved to Greensburg to sell dry goods in the 1860's. By the late 1800's, 
Minear and Self were part of a large crowd of dry goods merchants in Greensburg. But that didn't stop Emory's son Sherman, who went by his middle name, Pool, from taking an interest in the business as well. In 1881, Pool became a partner in Minear's. 

At some point the Minears entered into a partnership with fellow Greensburg merchants Zoller and Reiter.


That didn't last too long, though. In 1900, the partnership was dissolved, and the business became known as “S.P. Minear & Co.” S.P., of course, was short for Sherman Pool.


In 1904, Pool married Katherine (Kate) P. Smith. In 1912, when Emory retired, Pool became the principal owner of Minear's, and from 1917-1920, he was also the president of Citizens' National Bank.
c. 1900? Photo provided by Decatur County Historical Society

"Anna at Minears as clerk 1915"
Photo from the library's collection
In addition to their memorable presence on the square, the Minear family was also responsible for modernizing and maintaining the Italianate brick and limestone Wilderwood home at 446 East Main Street, which was built by Colonel John Thomas Wilder around 1865. This beautiful historic home is still standing today, and was featured in the Decatur County Historical Society's 2012 Vintage Home Calendar. 
Though Minear's has not been owned by the Minear family since Pool's death in 1925, the family name has lived on in Greensburg for an impressive 150 years. While the store may be closing its doors, the Minear legacy will always be remembered in Greensburg.

Researched and written by Lori Osting

Advertisements from Decatur County newspapers, 1885-1920
Mrs. E. R. Minear dead (1898, December 2). Greensburg Standard.
Dissolution of partnership (1900, February 2). Greensburg Standard.
Veteran merchant dead at eighty (1912, December 20). Greensburg Standard.
Merchant for forty years here expires (1925, July 28). Greensburg Daily News.

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