Mystery Shoes


The shoes in the upper left hand corner came from Hershman’s Department Store in Glenwood, and now reside in Japan in a collection of vintage shoes.

This past week we received a research request from a gentleman in Japan. He is a vintage shoe collector and recently acquired a pair of shoes made by the Florsheim Shoe Company. The shoes came from an e-bay seller in Rochester, Minnesota.

There was an additional tag sewn inside the shoes that read Hershman’s Dept. Store / Glenwood, Minn. pic1


A Google search led the Japaneseto us and to Deb Mercier at the Pope County Tribune. A quick search through our Personal and Business files and our photo collection yielded quite a bit of information about Mr. Hershman and his store.

Hershman, George B. 070

George Hershman was born in Poland and moved to Minnesota at age three. As a young man, he moved to Minneapolis and was involved in the manufacture of sweaters.
He came to Glenwood in 1909 and purchased McKinley Mercantile Company Cash Department Store, on the South side of Minnesota Avenue. (Where the Thompson Building stands today.)
He operated Hersman’s Department Store in that location until 1922, when he moved his store to the newly constructed Furtney Building. (The Trumm Drug Store occupies the Furtney Building now.)
Mr. Hershman was very active in the community – involved in civic and community booster clubs.
He died in 1928. In 1929, his store became Norby’s Department store when the sale became finalized.
Our researcher was very happy to read the ad and see the photograph of main street that included the store. He thought the shoes were from the 1930s, but our research proved that they had to have been sold between 1909 and 1929, making the shoes older than he thought.
He believes that Mr. Hershman must have special ordered the shoes, as the Hershman tag was sewn into the shoe.
He also said that he looked up Glenwood on Google maps and was excited to see the building as it looks today.
It is such fun to combine modern internet tools with old fashioned paper photographs and files to solve mysteries for people.

You can read “Hershman’s Department Store” on the sign on the Furtney (Trumm Drug) Building. When we blow up the image, we can see “Norby’s” printed on the awning, which dates this photo as 1929.

FullSizeRender1 (1)

Going our of business ad from 1929.

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6 Responses to Mystery Shoes

  1. Janet Nelson says:

    This is a great story! So glad to see it.

  2. Greg Merrill says:

    Very interesting! I’ve always found it intriguing that a small town like Glenwood can hold such a large and generally unknown history. Good job in researching and sharing such fascinating information!

  3. Billie Jo Jaeche (Hanson) says:

    I loved reading this wonderful article on people and history of Glenwood. I’m Proud to have been raised in this wonderful community!

  4. Taka says:

    I am the person who asked about Mr.Hershman and his store.
    I have just found the blog, and again I want to say thank you sooooo much for taking time and collecting the information!
    It was a wonderful experience to time travel to the early century of Glenwood!

  5. Pingback: Wagner House | Pope County Museum – Museum Musings

  6. Pingback: Trumm Drug | Pope County Museum – Museum Musings

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