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15 memories at Elder-Beerman that influenced your lives

It’s official: Elder-Beerman’s parent company is headed for liquidation.

Bon-Ton Stores Inc. officials announced a joint bidder, including a group of the bankrupt retail chain’s bondholders, won an auction for the company’s asset. The retailer, established 135-years-ago in Dayton and the city’s last hometown department store, will liquidate all stores.

» The rise and fall of Elder-Beerman: A timeline of Dayton’s dying store

The Dayton Daily News asked you: What are your favorite memories associated with the well-known retailer? From your first work experiences to meeting a future spouse, you shared the Elder-Beerman moments that you’ve cherished and remembered fondly. Here are some of them:

1. A hangout for journalists “I remember going to the store in the 1940s when it was Elder-Johnson located at 4th and Main St. It occupied 6 floors and the basement in the Reibold building and was Dayton’s second leading department store; Rike’s was first. They had a Tea Room restaurant on the 6th floor in the 1950s and reporters and editors of the Dayton Daily News used to eat lunch there frequently. Later, Mr. Elder sold the store to Arthur Beerman, who owned the Home Store, department store on Main St., where the Metropolitan later was located. Beerman’s original store was at Third and Williams Sts. in West Dayton.” — Carl Beyer, Kettering

The new Elder-Beerman store in Centerville is readied for opening in 1967. DAYTON DAILY NEWS ARCHIVE

2. First credit card “Getting my very first credit card with a $100.00 limit at age 20 and using it to by a bicycle at the store on Keowee Street.” — Michael Boggs, Old North Dayton

3. Those cookies “Going up to the 2nd level of the Elder-Beerman at the Northwest Shopping Plaza on Siebenthaler Ave. to get those delicious chocolate chip cookies!” — Jerome Mack, Washington Court House

The downtown Elder-Beerman store, photographed in 2002, closed and the building has been occupied by a variety of other companies. DAYTON DAILY NEWS ARCHIVE (Jan Underwood)

4. First purchases “My best memory is buying my first bottle of colonge at the Springfield store in 1994 and Evelyn who works at Fairfield Commons Elder Beerman. Such a professional. Really sad to see it go.” — Troy Bailey, Springfield

5. Elder-Beerman at Christmas “Visiting with ‘Rudolph’ at Elders before the merger and Arthur Beerman’s great generosity of spirit for the annual Thanksgiving Day feast.” — Mike Carter, Miamisburg

The Elder-Beerman store in Trotwood photographed in 1981. DAYTON DAILY NEWS ARCHIVE

6. Browsing in the store “As a female, I remember shopping most at the Northwest Elder-Beerman’s. No matter what I was shopping for, I always had to walk through the men’s department to take in the wonderful smells of the men’s cologne! So romantic!” — Ranae T., Dayton

7. Kind coworkers “My mother worked there after 40 years at McCall Corp. She was 96 years old. Everyone was so nice to her.” — Beverly Harrell, Kettering

8. Working as an elf “One of the first jobs I had was as an elf at Christmas time at the Centerville Elder Beerman. I helped Santa, took photos of the kids, and generally had a great time! I went on to work for them in the store, on and off, as I needed extra money.” — Anette Looper, Kettering

The Dayton Mall was busy on Tuesday afternoon. Shoppers have flooded area stores and malls returning unwanted gifts they received this holiday season. Most stores have made it an easy task, but others have made it difficult for a reason. According to the National Retail Federation’s latest Return Fraud Survey, retailers estimate that 3.5 percent of their holiday returns this year will be fraudulent, up slightly from the estimated 3 percent reported last year. Holiday return fraud is expected to cost retailers $2.2 billion, up from approximately $1.9 billion last year.. TY GREENLEES / STAFF (Staff Writer)

9. Learning responsibility “My first job. As soon as I turned 16, I applied and was hired and worked throughout high school and about a year or so after. I earned $0.81 per hour and it was at Beerman’s for Bargains at McCook Shopping Center on Keowee Street. My first credit account was with Beerman’s. Because it was my first account, I began with a credit limit of $50.00. I was 19 years old. So sad they are closing!” — Barbara Snodgrass, Vandalia

10. Vivid memories “The Eastown store was my mother’s favorite. Her first cousin Irene worked in the shoe dept. and we visited the store at least two days a week. Walking into the store created such an internal pleasure. I remember the store layout vividly. Great memories.” — Jeff Byrd, Dayton

Elder-Beerman warns of layoffs at Dayton Mall store

11. Interesting customers “I worked two Christmas season’s at the Fairfield Commons store in 2013 and 2015. If I would have ever thought that Elder-Beerman was going to go out of business in 2013, I would have said never. It was a nice place to work with fun co-workers and interesting customers. It will be missed.” — Andrew Brody, Yellow Springs

12. A staple in Dayton “This is very, very sad! Elder Beerman is a staple in the Miami Valley, just like Marion’s, Mike Sells, and Esther Price.” —Karen Holbrook, Miamisburg

The Elder and Johnston Co. was located in the Reibold Building for more than six decades. DAYTON METRO LIBRARY LUTZENBERGER COLLECTION
The Elder and Johnston Co. was located in the Reibold Building for more than six decades. DAYTON METRO LIBRARY LUTZENBERGER COLLECTION

13. Future spouse “My husband and I met while working at Elder Beerman Van Buren almost 36 years ago. Then, our son modeled for EB for over 5 years. It’s a sad time for Dayton.” — Darlene Saaler Braunschweiger, Centerville

14. Amy’s Cookies “My family used to love shopping at the Northwest location, especially around Christmastime and whenever any of our friends were adding to their families (in the late ’80s and early ’90s). The bakery there (Amy’s Cookies, I think) would always give a free sugar cookie to our daughter, and she would eat it happily as we left the store to go home. Such a magical place, ‘back in the day.’ Great memories. RIP, Elder-Beerman.” — John Shay, Harrison Twp.

FILE (Staff Writer)

15. Value of money “Elder-Beerman was literally my first introduction to the professional world of customer service. It was also where I learned the value of money and getting a good deal. I remember heading straight upstairs to the credit department to pay my credit card bill every Friday when I would get my paycheck. I also remember sitting and enjoying a most delicious stir-fry lunch in the restaurant, then coming downstairs and treating myself to an infamous Swiss Melt cookie, brownie, cream cheese puffs.” — Billi Ewing, Harrison Twp.

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