10:25 AM

Above- Detail of a  Bookmark celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Tootles Firm 1849-1909

Welcome back! Today I spent my day writing Conor at the Arabia Museum a long letter so I thought I would do a causal Friday on my blog- just posting some eye candy.
I love the colors in early 1900s ephemera, you don't get this in the 1850s. Just look at this piece it tells a story and speaks for itself.
But while I am on the subject, notice that Tootles first started off as Smith & Tootles. A lot can be said in the arrangement of names. Smith, who's listed first is the owner or majority partner of the firm and this shows Tootle  (Actually Milton's older relative Josh) started off working probably as a clerk in the firm.
The Tootles firm started on the emigrant trail in Kanesville and had branch stores stretching up 600 miles even to Sioux City before Arabia sank. The Sioux City firm did not last long, but the Tootles firm would move as needed to have a good customer base.
This bookmark as shown below acknowledges five of the chain store names but there are many more between 1849 and 1909. As you can see by the Consignee List on the right, Arabia had merchandise for three of  Tootle's stores (Omaha, Council Bluffs and Glenwood).
It's funny they don't acknowledge Tootles & Jackson but there was a big split in 1858-59 and I guess there were hard feelings. Looking back at better times, Jackson seemed closer to Milton Tootles than any of his store managers and took a very active part in monitoring the stores.
Who knows why they split up- tensions were building about slavery and Jackson secretly helped the south as I found one reference in the National Archives captured records that Jackson sent blankets to the confederates down river. At first I thought, "Is this the same Jackson" and then I found my second primary source in the credit reports when the reporter writes he can't understand why Jackson is buying goods when he's not in business.
Before I close let me comment, how skillfully the artist chose to show the passing of time in the changes in transportation over 50 years. Truly a Time capsule!
Enjoy and have a good weekend.
 1909 Tootle, Campbell Dry Goods
1893 Tootle, Wheeler & Motter, St Joseph, MO
1881 Tootle, Hosea & co.
1872 Tootle, Craig & co.
1860 Tootles & Farleigh (Farleigh was around since the mid 1850s)
1849 Smith & Tootle