The building where Becker's is located dates back to the late 1880's and was first owned and operated as the Bolin and Smith Clothing Store and the H.C. Bohn Clothing Store by the founder, Colonel Henry Clay Bohn of Kentucky.
John M. Becker started working in the store as a clerk in 1901. Mr. Becker's first job for Colonel Bolin included the daily menial tasks of cleaning six brass spittoons, filling the coal-oil lamps, and mopping the floor.
Following the death of Col. H.C. Bohn in October of 1907, the store was run by the estate executors Mary Frances Balm and James King. John M. and one of his brothers, Theodore, bought the business and store from the H.C. Bohn Estate in May of 1908 and opened Becker Brothers as a men's clothing store selling both dress and work clothes. They jointly ran the men's clothing store from 1908 until November, 1915 when John purchased his brother's interest in the store and renamed the store Becker's Clothing Store.
Within several years, Theodore (Ted) moved his family to the Los Angeles area and opened a dry goods store that operated for many years. Two other brothers, George and Henry Becker, moved to Divernon, Illinois and ran Becker Brothers Dry Goods Store from the early 1900`s until the late 1940's.
In the early days of his business career, Mr. John M. Becker remembers that big families came to the store in the fall of the year to buy all their needs for the winter months, such as woolen underwear, a blue or black suit, and some stiff shirt collars. The firm's motto, "Dependable Merchandise at Reasonable Prices" has always been a guiding factor, and is felt responsible for drawing loyal and dependable patronage through the many years.
John M. Becker worked continuously at the store until his failing health in the mid 1900's caused the business to be run by his son, Wayne I. Becker, who assumed ownership in 1972. Wayne, who had assisted John M. with various aspects of the business for many years on a part-time basis, continued to manage the men's clothings store and added a limited line of women's sweaters.
Due to declining health Wayne sold the business to Dennis and Debbie Held of Raymond, Illinois at the end of 1992. The Melds rent the building from Wayne's son, David Becker, and retained the name of Becker's Clothing Store due to its long time presence and prominence in the community and surrounding area.
Besides John M. and Ted Becker, clerks who have worked at the store include E.P. Dey, Arthur Ryan, Lloyd Weatherford, Jim King, Wayne Becker, Richard Bryan, Louie Carter, Charles Hendricks, Robert Reeve, Dick McPherson, Eloise Steele. Brenda Deardorff, Ruth “Tip" Math, Marge Held, Rose Gowin, Megan McWard, Alice "Fudge" Downey, and Mary Zueck.
Becker on July 24, 2008 at the Morrisonville, IL
celebrating the 100th anniversary of Becker Clothing Store in Morrisonville (1908-2008)