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Iconic Leslie mom & pop to close after 136 years

Mitchell's Department Store
Mitchell's Department Store in Leslie opened in 1886. It's current owners are retiring and will close the business in early 2023.

A fourth-generation family business in the town of Leslie will soon close its doors after nearly 140 years in operation. 

Mitchell’s Department Store first opened in Leslie in 1886.

The business specializes in men’s work clothes and shoes but also carries women’s fashion.

Owner Jim Mitchell says he’s past retirement age and has no one to take over. He takes pride in the personalized service that sustained his store for generations.

“We had some people in the other day who said, ‘You know, we don’t get service like this anyplace else,’” Mitchell said. “And I know that; you can’t go to those big stores and get anybody that knows what they’re doing. That’s how we have maintained our business over these years.”

“Think about 1886 and what this business has gone through,” he added. “You know, that’s only like 20 years removed from the Civil War. Then, of course, World War I, World War II, the Great Depression and other ups and downs in the economy that we’ve survived through. So, I think that’s quite noteworthy.”

Mitchell says he’ll close the department store when inventory runs out, which he predicts will be in January or February.

Kevin Lavery is a general assignment reporter and occasional local host for Morning Edition and All Things considered.
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