The way to a man’s heart is through his eyes…
John W. Thomas & Co. was a Minneapolis retailer of dry goods, women’s apparel, men’s furnishings, fine furniture, rugs and draperies, and interior decorations. The firm was begun as George W. Hale in a small building located on Washington Avenue near Nicollet. George’s brother James M. Hale joined the business in 1872, the name of the firm became George W. Hale & Co. and the store moved to a swankier location at Nicollet and Third.
After John W. Thomas joined the firm in 1883, the business became Hale, Thomas & Co. In 1884 the firm opened in new store at Nicollet and Fifth in a building known as the Sidle Block. Thomas eventually bought out the Hale interests, and in 1894 the firm name was changed to John W. Thomas & Co.
The Sidle Block proved inadequate in a few years and in 1900 the firm moved into the Andrus Building. The firm constructed a new building for itself at 801 Nicollet in 1907-1908, which it occupied until the mid-1960s. This building was demolished around 1970.