A Timeline of Retailing at 201-213 South Main Street

  • 1858 William Dudley Browning, 25 years old and a native of Vermont, started a dry goods store in Mount Vernon.

    Employees of A. A. Dowds Dry Goods

    Employees of A. A. Dowds Dry Goods

  • 1873 Browning took W. S. Sperry into partnership and Browning & Sperry occupied the Woolworth building on the west side of S. Main between Vine and Gambier Streets.
  • 1896 Browning purchased Sperry’s interest and moved the store to the southwest corner of Main and Gambier Streets, location of the former S. S. Kresge Co. He named the store Browning’s on the Corner.
  • 1908 After being a junior partner with Browning for a while (time unknown) A. A. Dowds purchased his interest from Browning and started the A. A. Dowds Dry Goods Co.
  • 1909 Dowds acquired R. F. Mantz & Co. at the present Rudin’s location and moved his store there. The second and third floors were mostly apartments.
  • 1910 John W. Rudin became a partner with A. A. Dowds.
  • 1929 Dowds Dry Goods became the Dowds-Rudin Co.
  • 1939, February 6 John W. Rudin became president of the Dowds-Rudin Co.
  • 1939, March 6 A. A. Dowds died.
  • 1939 Sons Jack W. Rudin and Walter M. Rudin joined their father John W. Rudin at Dowds-Rudin Co.
  • 1940, February 1 Dowds-Rudin Co. became Rudin’s Department Store.
  • 1977, August 13 Jack Rudin died.
  • 1977, October 11 John W. Rudin died.
  • 1977, November 9 Walter M. Rudin became president of The Rudin Co. and Rudin’s Department Store.
  • 1979 Rudin’s Department Store sold to Uhlmans.

About Patti Albaugh

I grew up in Mount Vernon, Ohio, and graduated from Mount Vernon High School in 1965. I have a Bachelor's Degree from Mount Vernon Nazarene University and a Ph.D. from The Ohio State University. I am an Emeritus Professor at Otterbein University. In addition to writing creative nonfiction and fiction, I like bridge, genealogy, gardening, travel and Mah Jjong. I currently live in Tucson, Arizona, with my dog Tonto. I am the proud parent of children Justin and Amy and the proud grandmother (NANA) of granddaughters Katherine and Zoe.
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