Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Gladys Hedde and the Baby Shop

Daily Record July 7, 1971
Mrs. Hedde retires after 45 years of success    By Betty May Moore
Handing over the keys to Hedde's Gift and Baby Shop is
Mrs. Gladys Hedde, founder, (left) and
accepting them are Patty and Wayne Schlanker, the new owners.
Hedde’s Gift & Baby Shop now has new owners for the first time since it was established 45 years ago.
            Mr. and Mrs. Wayne Schlanker took possession of the business Tuesday morning, July 6, and Mrs. Gladys Hedde began a new experience as a retired business woman.
            Mrs. Schlanker, better known to her many friends as Patty, is an experienced saleswoman.  She was employed by Delzell’s for a number of months and has been in the Hedde store for several weeks prior to buying it.  She is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Gay in Lawrenceville.
            Wayne Schlanker is also an experienced salesman, having 15 years’ experience with a drug company.  He is the son of Mrs. George Schlanker of Jonesburg, Missouri.
            The couple are the parents of two children:  Mike, 19, is a student at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale (Illinois), and Holly, 7, is a second grader in Arlington School.
            Hedde Gift & Baby Shop had its beginning in October, 1926, when Gladys Hedde opened a small business specializing in hand made clothing for infants in one room of her home.  Throughout the years, the business flourished and is now one of the most widely known stores featuring clothing for infants, children, and pre-teens.
            After operating her new business at home for one year, Gladys Hedde was forced to find larger quarters for her infants’ wear and needlework, due to customer demands for her products.  She then moved to the building now occupied by Neeley’s Shoe Repair Shop on North Twelfth Street where she remained for two years.
In 1929, Hedde’s Gift & Baby Shop was again in need of larger quarters.  Mrs. Hedde then moved her stock and supplies to the old Connett house, then located where the J.C. Penney building stands today.
A final move was made to the recent location on the northwest corner of Twelfth and State streets where Hedde’s Gift & Baby Shop was continued to flourish the past 15 years.
In spite of the depression years, when so many small businesses were forced out of existence, Gladys Hedde overcame all obstacles in her quest for bigger and better things for her business.  She came through with flying colors, efficiently handling the dual responsibilities of managing a thriving business and rearing a family of two children at the same time.
It’s truly ‘A Children’s World,” a slogan, Mrs. Hedde established for her business many years ago, because everything is for the ‘youngerset’ in the way of merchandise offered through the store. Not only will one find the erstwhile infants’ wear, but also a full line of clothing for children of all ages including pre-teens.
In May, 1951. Mrs. Hedde opened a department for Juniors which met with astounding success.  The business in that department grew to such proportions that it became necessary for Mrs. Hedde to find larger quarters in the building now occupied by Underwood’s Booterie on the north side of the Square.  This business was known as the Fashion Shop.  In 1956, it was sold to Pauline Vinsel, who in turn sold the stock to Hazel Whitmer in 1962 and the business was renamed Hazel’s.  Mrs. Whitmer sold the business to Tonya Matracia in 1970 and is now one of the better teenage clothing shops in the area.
            Regarded as one of the best known shops of its type in this section of Illinois and Indiana, Hedde’s Gift & Baby Shop is certainly a monumental tribute to its founder.
            Managing a thriving business is naturally confining and time-consuming occupation, but Gladys Hedde has found time to be active in community affairs.  She is a member of the First Christian Church, Lawrence County Business and Professional Woman’s Club, Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce, Lawrenceville Merchants Association and Wabash Valley Association, having taken a post active part in all.
            She has, alone, provided college educations for her daughter, Donna, and son, Charles.  The daughter now lives in Greenwood, Indiana, where she is a school teacher.  The son owns and operates Hedde Pharmacy in Lawrenceville (Illinois).
            A sterling example of the successful accomplishments of a determined individual, Gladys Hedde most certainly deserves the well-earned rest and enjoyments to which she is looking forward in her retirement from active business.   

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