Department store celebrates 100 years of business in Wichita Falls

Department store celebrates 100 years of business in Wichita Falls

WICHITA FALLS, TX - 100 years ago, JCPenney opened its doors for the first time in Wichita Falls and the store is making history in more ways than just one.

Kathleen Lauck has worked with JC Penny for more than 20 years and is back in her home town of Wichita Falls as the General Manager of the department store.

Friday, she was a part of history as the store in The Falls turned one century old.

She said JCPenney is more than just a store.

"JCPenney has always been our go-to place for our family," said Lauck.  "I remember going with my mom and we had the whole routine with the fitting rooms and how we picked out the clothes and so going to JCPenney is something I've always done."

"My family always went to Penney's," said James Miles, who worked for the store more than 40 years and even served as the general manager.

"When I was little when we grew up this is where we shopped," said Wichita Falls Mayor, Stephen Santellana.  "Right now, you look at the store is full of people that appreciate them being here and need them to be here."

Not only is the Wichita Falls store turning 100, but it's also the 1st one in Texas.

Friday, retirees from the department store came back to celebrate 100 years with a place they call family.

"I like to think that Penney's has been a part of Wichita Falls for my whole life certainly and way before," said Earlene Reeves, who sold more than 60 thousand suits for the department.  "I think it's wonderful."

"Proud," said former seamstress Margaret Rodriguez.  "I'm very proud that the fact that I'm a part of it."

Becky Caldwell was one of the first 100 people in line for the celebration Friday morning.

She said Penney's is her go-to store.

"I come here probably about every weekend to shop around," said Caldwell.  "My whole closet is full of towels from JCPenney's. A lot of stores they come in and they come and go.  This one seems like it's going to be here for a while."

"When you see the original pictures of the first store it really hits home that they've been here 100 years in our town," said Santellana.

People who shop, work have worked at the store say they hope to see the department open for another 100 years.

Former Dallas Cowboys Linebacker and Hall of Famer, Charles Haley was also there to celebrate the birthday of JCPenney.

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