LIMA — Hofeller, Hiatt & Clark has been a fixture in downtown Lima for 103 years. The store, started by Maurice Hofeller in 1898, was originally located on the Public Square. Hofeller arrived from Chicago in 1897 at the age of 20 to manage the Mammoth Clothing Store, but within a year decided to strike out on his own. In 1908, Hofeller moved the store to North Main Street at the site of the Norval Hotel. Only three years later in June 1911 Hofeller went into business with Charles A. Hiatt and the store became Hofeller and Hiatt. At Hiatt’s suggestion, the store started carrying men’s suits, which it is has been known for ever since. In 1916, the business expanded once again to include Paul “Pinky” Clark, and became known by its current name Hofeller, Hiatt & Clark. It wasn’t until 1925 that the store expanded once more and moved to its present location at 237 N. Main St. Over the next 41 years, Clark gradually bought out Hofeller’s and Hiatt’s surviving heirs to become the sole proprietor. In 1966, Frank Wellman and David Lammers bought out Clark, but opted to keep the store’s name. Phillip Osmon, who has worked at Hofeller, Hiatt & Clark since 1966, bought a small share of the store in 1980 and then bought a larger share when Lammers left. About 12 years ago, Wellman retired and Osmon and James Gaugh took that opportunity to become co-owners of the store. Gaugh, while still co-owner, has retired from the day to day operations of the store.Hofeller, Hiatt & Clark has been known for their quality merchandise and excellent service for as long as they have been in business.The store currently carries high-end men’s clothing, including suits, dress and casual pants, ties, shoes, golf apparel, formal wear, accessories and more casual business wear. In addition to ready-to-wear items, the store also offers tailoring and custom made suits and sports coats. Unlike many modern stores, Hofeller, Hiatt & Clark prides themselves on knowledge of the clothing lines they carry and excellent service to the customer. “There is a lot of satisfaction in finding the correct style, fit, colors for a customer,” Osmon said. The store, which has three full-time men on staff, all with years of experience in men’s clothing, has had to change with the times. Suits and dress clothes are no longer as much in demand as in the past. “It used to be that anyone in middle management and above would wear a suit and tie to work everyday,” Osmon said. “That just isn’t the case anymore.”Despite this change, business is still very good in areas of sports clothing and casual business attire, as well as, men’s accessories. As part of the downtown businesses, Osmon feels like the store and community work together. “We definitely need the support of the community and surrounding area for business,” he explained. “But I also feel we provide an important service to the area. People moving into the area look strongly at what retail is available. When area businesses recruit, all parts of the community from schools to the stores here make up what a city can offer.”This symbiotic relationship plays into the future goals of the store. “We’d like to see the community thrive because in a thriving community, people buy more. Each helps the other,” Osmon said.Each year, the store’s goals include meeting the needs of its customers, both the men and women who buy for husbands, sons and friends.“Each season we try to walk an upward path,” said Osmon.
Tara Cutlip, 21 and pregnant with her second child, was shot and killed Saturday in her Bahama Drive home. Loved ones gather in front of Tara's home to remember her and speak out against domestic violence.