Good Weather for Felt Boots
February 2, 1966
Written by Charles Collett
Submitted by: Robert Kingrey
That is what my good friend Grover B. Savage said when he invited me to go coasting on Reservoir Hill. Then the World War One veteran and retired C&Oer wanted to know if I ever wore felt boots to school. He did, but that was years ago before Kentucky had school buses. I wore my last pair of felts sliding down the flagstone walk front the front door of the courthouse to fall in a snowdrift on Fourth Street.
The subject of my thoughts is not sliding on your fanny, but felt boots. Boots are sold at shoe stores and Grover recalls the shoe stores I remember and some I have just read about like R.H. Ellis n Second near Washington. His daughter, Mrs. Lydia Markin, lives at 510 Lawrence Street and her sons, Ellis and Frank, wore out shoes coasting on courthouse hill when their aunt, Mrs. L.R. Andrews, was a teacher at Kingsbury School.
I have no record of the first shoe and felt boot store in town, but the name Neekamp is the oldest today. Frank Neekamp opened a shoe store on Second Street in 1863. I remember when Misses Laura Emma, Georgianna, Frank and Carl were all clerks in their father’s store. On the same street, five doors away, Mrs. Theo Neekamp and her son Conrad and daughters Bess and Margaret had a big shoe store.
I remember when E.J. Buchanan’s store on Third Street, now adjoining the Patio. Joe Rogers, a clerk, bought his boss out. Mrs. Stella Kettel and Charles S. Mohr, clerks at Roger’s perhaps sold felt boot. The senior of long-time ago shoe merchants is Chester Mittendorf.
The Mittendorf name became associated with felt boots in Ironton in 1883. At one time, the father A.H. Mittendorf & Sons were William F., Floyd, W. Walter J., Clarenceand Chester were all engaged in the felt boot business in the same store at Second and Center.
The Joe A. Raine shoe store was at Second and Washington. A daughter, Mrs. Jesse Raine Cherrington, resides at 503 Vernon Street. The R. Goff shoe store was at Fourth and Railroad, now a parking lot. All mentioned were exclusive shoe stores. Others were L. J. Hoffman, Second and Center in the McCauley building, Marting & Flehr, Second at Adams.