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ThayerRags Fabric Center

108 W. Grand Ave, Frederick, OK. USA

Sewing History of Frederick, Oklahoma

There's been a lot of sewing activity around here!

ThayerRags™ Fabric Center is a DIVISION OF MARDE Enterprises LLC - Frederick, Oklahoma, USA

My name is CD Thayer and I have begun studying the sewing activities in and around Frederick Oklahoma back through the years.  It just seemed like a good project, since I am currently involved in the area sewing activities as a fabric retailer and alterations/mending sewing machine operator.  The amount of historical sewing and fabric related activities in the immediate area is abundant!  Here is what I've learned thus far: (not all entries are associated sewing or fabric, but are for historical reference)

1902 - City of Frederick Organized.
1903 - Blackwell, Enid and Southwestern (BES) Railroad (later acquired by the SL&SF Railway) arrived in Frederick.
1905 - Pres. Theodore Roosevelt, accompanied by John R. Abernathy and others, departed from Frederick to the Big Pasture to participate in a wolf hunt.
1907 (4/10) - City of Frederick, Comanche County, Oklahoma Territory was Incorporated.
1907 (11/16) - Oklahoma Statehood.
1907 - Wichita Falls and Northwestern Railway (later the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railroad) arrived in Frederick.
1907 - Tillman County had 12,869 residents.

1910 - Tillman County had 18,650 residents.
1910 - First paved street - Grand Avenue from 6th to 11th Streets.
1910 - Bud and Temple Abernathy rode on horseback from Frederick, OK to New York City.
1913-31 - Frederick Laundry & Dry Cleaners operated at 603 S. Main. (sewing)
1914 - (Unknown Name) Tailoring at 208 W. Grand Ave (2 stores west of Wide-Awake Variety Store; W 1/2 of TG&Y). (sewing)

1920 - Tillman County had 22,433 residents.
1926 - Geo. W. Spence did tailoring, alterations, & was a cleaners. (sewing)
1926 - Service Tailors operated at 120 N. Main. (sewing)
1929 - Traffic lights were first installed in downtown Frederick.

1930 - Tillman County had 24,390 residents.
1930 - 2,763 farms reported in Tillman County. Average size farm: 188.8 acres.
1931 - Strange Dry Goods operated at 108 W. Grand Avenue. (fabric)
1931 - Quality Shoe Shop (repairs) operated at 111 N. 9th St. (sewing)
1931 - Brandy’s Tailor Shop operated at 110 S. 9th St. (sewing)
1931 - Hotel Tailor Shop operated in Grand Hotel. (sewing)
1931 - Nuf Sed Tailor Shop operated at 207 W. Grand Ave. (sewing)
1931 - Nuf Sed Tailor Shop No 2 operated on E. Grand Ave. (sewing)
1931 - Uptown Tailors operated on Grand Ave. (sewing)
1935-66 - Tomlinson and Son operated at 210 W. Grand Avenue. (fabric)
1935-36 - The WPA built the municipal swimming pool building with a sewing room for women at 300 S. 17th St. (sewing)

1940 - Tillman County had 20,754 residents.
1941 - Frederick Army Air Field opened. (UC-78s (trainer/light transport aircrafts) and B25s (medium bombers)).
1949 - Smith’s 5 cent to $1 operated at 108 W. Grand Avenue.
1949-51 - Curly’s Cleaning & Pressing did alterations at 110 S. 9th St. (sewing)
1949-52 - Parker Tailoring operated at 110 N. Main. (sewing)
1949-53 - Nuf Sed Tailoring operated at 217 W. Grand Ave. (sewing)

1950 - Tillman County had 17,598 residents.
1950 - 1,724 farms reported in Tillman County.
1950-51 - Garrison & Bolton Variety Store MAY HAVE operated at 108 W. Grand Ave.
1950 - Farris Auto Upholstering Co. operated at 207 S. 8th St. (sewing)
1950 - Ideal Mattress & Upholstering Works operated at 520 W. Grand. (sewing)
1950-93 - Byrum Cleaners did alterations at 123 E. Grand Ave. (sewing)
1952-54 - Vogue Cleaners did alterations at 110 S. 9th St. (sewing)
1952-54 - Gambill’s 5 cent to $1 operated at 108 W. Grand Avenue.
1953-56 - Whitten Cleaners did alterations at 110 N. Main. (sewing)
1950 - Oberlender’s Upholstery - New & Used SMs & Repair - 318 W. Grand Avenue. (sewing)
1952 - Oberlender’s Upholstery - New & Used SMs & Repair - 312 W. Grand Avenue. (sewing)
1953 - Oberlender’s Upholstery - New & Used SMs & Repair - 314 W. Grand Avenue. (sewing)
1954-55 - Blanton’s Cleaners did alterations at 217 W. Grand Ave. (sewing)
1954-56 - Oberlender’s Upholstery - New & Used SMs & Repair - 308 W. Grand Avenue. (sewing)
1954-57 - Singer Sewing Machine Co. operated at 211 W. Grand Ave. (sewing)
1955 - Centra Leather Goods leased buildings at the Airport. (sewing)
1956 - Centra Leather Goods began operations. (sewing)
1956-59 - Blanton’s Cleaners did alterations at 16th & Gladstone. (sewing)
1956-58 - Bill’s Drive-in Cleaners did alterations at 702 S. Main. (sewing)
1956-77? - Centra Leather Goods manufactured leather wallets, purses, etc at Industrial Park. (sewing)
1956-62 - Stephen Manufacturing Co. produced bras at the Airfield. (sewing)
1957-58 - Wilson Cleaners did alterations at 110 N. Main. (sewing)
1957-69 - T.O. Wright Shoe & Upholstery operated at 109 N Main. (sewing)
1957-58 - Bogg’s Youth Shop operated at 108 W. Grand Avenue.
1957 - Brantley Helicopter Corp moved to Frederick from Philadelphia, PA.
1958-71 - Kelly’s Outlet operated at 108 W. Grand Avenue. (fabric)
1959 - Singer Sewing Machine Co. operated at 621 N 6th St. (sewing)
1959-67 - Wilson Cleaners did alterations at the Hotel Frederick. (sewing)

1960 - Tillman County had 14,654 residents.
1961 - City of Frederick entered into a 99-year contract with Centra Leather Goods for property at the Airport. (sewing)
1961-94? - Frederick Auto Trim & Upholstery operated at 1016 S 10th St. (sewing)
1962 - Dutch Holiday Cleaning Center did alterations at 110 E. Gladstone. (sewing)
1963 - Betsy Bra, the nation’s 2nd largest manufacturer of brassieres, made a contract for operating at the Airport. (sewing)
1963-71 - Betsy Bra manufactured brassieres at Industrial Park. (sewing)
1965 - Betsy Bra Company still manufacturing, geared up to make 182,000 bras per week. (sewing)
1965 - Brantley Helicopter Corp still manufacturing.
1966-79 - TG&Y sold fabric at 210 W. Grand Avenue. (fabric)
1966 - Brantley Helicopter Corp bought by Leer Jet.
1967-74 - Frybrant, Inc manufactured lingerie garments at 115 N. Main (sewing)
1969 - Wilson Cleaners did alterations at 107 1/2 N. Main. (sewing)
1969-70 - LeAnn’s Fabrics operated at 203 W. Grand Ave. (old Dixie Dry Goods Store). (fabric)
1969 - Brantley Helicopter Corp moved to Wichita, KS.

1970 - Tillman County had 12,901 residents.
1970 - Webb Fabrics operated at 119 W. Grand Ave. (fabric)
1970 -77? - Kellwood Manufacturing Plant in Frederick produced Wrangler women & children's jeans. (sewing)
1971 - Webb Fabrics operated at the Grand Hotel. (fabric)
1971-72 - Robertson Sewing Center operated at 100 S. Main. (sewing)
1971-82 - Grand Fabrics operated at 203 W. Grand Ave. (fabric)
1971 - Betsy Bra ceased manufacturing. (sewing)
1971? - Perfect Bra Company? (formerly Betsy Bra?). (sewing)
1972 - Nanny’s Fabric Center operated at 108 W. Grand Avenue. (fabric)
           (Nanny's Fabric Center Stores were at Lawton, Hollis, & Vernon also)
1972 - Centra Leathergoods became “Products of America”, but continued operating as Centra. (sewing)
1973-77 - Kelly’s Outlet operated at 108 W. Grand Avenue. (fabric)
1973 - (June) A tornado hit the City of Frederick.
1974 - Arson Fire destroyed buildings along the west side of the northwest 100 block of Main Street.
1974 - 2003 - Frybrant, Inc. manufactured lingerie garments at 1300 E. Gladstone. (sewing)
1975-80? - The Bag Scene Inc. manufactured ladies' handbags at 620 E. Gladstone. (sewing)
1978 - 2005 - Spinning Wheel operated at 108 W. Grand Avenue. (fabric)

1980 - Tillman County had 12,398 residents.
1981-90 - Stevens Boot & Saddle Repair operated at 1200 S. 15th St. (sewing)
1983-92 - Musslin & Lace operated at 203 W. Grand Ave. (fabric)
1984-97 - Lois Coronado did alterations at 503 S. 21st St. (sewing)
1986-87 - Triple M Sporting Goods did embroidery at 119 W. Grand Ave. (sewing)
1987 - ShowString Embroidery operated at 701 W. Carol St. (sewing)
1988-89 - ShowString Embroidery operated at 826 S. Main. (sewing)
1989 - Marlene Thayer operated a serger machine at Frybrant, Inc. for a few months. (sewing)

1990 - Tillman County had 10,384 residents.
1993-96 - Simply Rags fabric shop operated at 104 N. Main. (fabric)
1990-91 - Sewing Room (Sewing Contractor) operated at 300 E. Gladstone. (sewing)
1990-2004 - ShowString Embroidery operated at 315 S. Main. (sewing)
1991-2003 - Frybrant, Inc. cut fabric at their Outlet Store at 206 W. Grand Ave. (fabric)
1994-95 - Best Choice Cleaners did alterations at 123 E. Grand Ave. (sewing)
1995-98 - Frederick One-Hour Cleaners did alterations at 123 E. Grand Ave. (sewing)
1994?-2008 - Frederick Auto Trim & Upholstery operated at 119 S. 9th St. (sewing)
1996-97 - Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority conducted sewing classes for area youth at Kennedy School. (sewing)
1997 - Lois Coronado moved her alterations to 307 S. 21st St. (sewing)
1998 - Frederick One-Hour Cleaners changed ownership but continued doing alterations at 123 E. Grand Ave. (sewing)

2000 - Tillman County had 9,287 residents.
2000 - 587 farms reported in Tillman County. Average size farm: 819 acres.
2000 - Spinning Wheel suspended regular operations at 108 W. Grand Avenue, but the shop remained. (fabric)
2003 - Frybrant Inc. suspended operations in Frederick. (sewing)
2005 - Frederick One-Hour Cleaners changed their name to Frederick Cleaners under the existing ownership. (sewing)
2006 - Frybrant Inc. inventory, equipment, and property auctioned. (sewing)
2006 - (Feb) ThayerRags Fabric Center began operations at 108 W. Grand Avenue. (sewing)(fabric)
2008 - ShowString Embroidery began operations at 1000 S. Main. (sewing)

2010 - Tillman County had 7,992 residents.
2012 - The World War II Airborne Demonstration Team began operating a Rigger Shop at what was the old Frederick Army Air Field, in a restored WWII hangar at the Frederick Airport. (sewing)
2014 - Lois Coronado discontinued her alteration service at 307 S. 21st St. (sewing)
2015 - ThayerRags Fabric Center still operating at 108 W. Grand Avenue. (sewing)(fabric)
2015 - Frederick Cleaners still operating at 123 E. Grand Ave. (sewing)
2015 - ShowString Embroidery still operating at 1000 S. Main. (sewing)


I need some date information on the following sewing operations:
????-?? - Schlegel Oklahoma - Industrial Park - Auto Upholstery (sewing)
????-?? - Betty Thomas has done alterations at 1015 S. 15th St. (sewing)
????-?? - Willie Espinosa took in upholstery work part-time at his home. (sewing)
????-?? - (Any other sewing operations in the Frederick area that I don't have listed)


Please email the webmaster if you can provide date information for the operations above, or other missing operations that need to included in the Frederick Sewing History.

I will be collecting and adding the department store information in the future. In addition to selling fabric and ready-made clothing, many department stores also provided in-house alteration services. 
UPDATE:
  After looking into this, the subject of department stores will be a larger project than I'm able to do, and I will not be undertaking it for this sewing history.

Note: Through the years, most Cleaners offered mending and alterations services, while most Laundries did not. I'm sure that there were exceptions, but that is why the many Laundries in Frederick are not listed here.

Last Update: 01/29/2015

 

1935-36 - The WPA built the municipal swimming pool building with a sewing room for women at S. 17th St. (sewing).  The upper level housed the sewing room.  2011 Photo by CD Thayer
 

 

As you can see, I still have several gaps in my timeline.  Any additions or corrections are welcome.

If you have any additional information, please contact me.

Email information to CD at: ThayerRags

 

Information Credits:

Tillman County Historical Society

Tillman County Chronicles

Tillman County History

Oklahoma Historical Society

US Census Bureau

 

Visit these historical websites to learn more about your history!

 

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Original Site Created by CD Thayer - August 1998