For Kansans who grew up in rural communities, there was nothing like spending time in a Duckwall's.
A trip to town wasn't complete unless you wandered up and down the aisles, which were stuffed with all sorts of can't-live-without gadgets and knickknacks.
Duckwall's was the inspiration of Kansan Alva Lease Duckwall.
In 1898, when he was 21, Lease Duckwall, as he was known then, moved from Ohio to Greenleaf in north-central Kansas and opened a shop where he sold and repaired sewing machines and bicycles.
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Three years later, Duckwall sold the shop, borrowed money, moved two counties south to Abilene and opened a variety store that offered a little bit of everything — from paint brushes to fabrics, shoes to toys. He operated the store with his brother, Wilbur.
By 1906, the store was doing so well that they opened a second in Salina.
By 1915, Duckwall had nine stores in Kansas and incorporated them as the A.L. Duckwall's Stores Co.
His "five & dime" variety stores became institutions in small communities throughout Kansas. Farm families could count on the stores staying open late on Saturday nights.
When he died in 1937, Duckwall had built a chain of more than 40 stores throughout Kansas and Colorado.
Duckwall was listed in the Kansas Business Hall of Fame in 2000.
Question: Besides Duckwalls, what other Kansas discount chain stores evolved from the Duckwall’s five and dime?
Answer to Wednesday’s question: As Elmer Verner McCollum worked on his discoveries, he became one of the first scientists in the nation to use white rats as laboratory animals to enhance his research.
Check Kansas.com on Friday for the answer to today’s question.