Historically speaking: Leary & Crichton

By Jessica Gorman

Leary & Crichton was a mercantile firm owned by W. P. Leary and Thomas Crichton. It was in operation from approximately 1883 to 1897 when W. P. Leary moved to Shreveport. An 1883 newspaper article describes it as “a house of high standing; dealers in general merchandise, confectionaries, etc., they are cotton buyers. Messrs. Jas. Crichton, Charlie Cheshire, and George Carroll are the salesmen; Mr. Newt Barnes, book-keeper.”

There seems to be a common misconception that this building stood on the same site as Crichton Hardware. However, maps, photographs, and an 1883 listing of downtown businesses provide evidence that this building stood in a different location. Together, these sources place Leary & Crichton at the corner of Main and Union on the site of the Webb Hardware building. It is likely this building burned in the 1902 fire.

This column is intended to share snippets of Webster Parish history. Please direct any questions or suggestions to dorcheatmuseum@yahoo.com or visit us at the museum. 

(Jessica Gorman is the Assistant Director and Archivist for the Dorcheat Historical Association Museum in Minden and is an avid genealogist.)

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