Postcard from George A. Gray Company of Duluth

The George A. Gray Company was located at 117 W. Superior St. The building became a Wahl’s department store in 1936 and is still standing today, though it looks quite different.

Google Maps street view of 117 W. Superior St. in September 2019.

The Northeast Minnesota Historical Collections at UMD’s Kathryn A. Martin Library dates this Hugh McKenzie photo of the George A. Gray Company building as circa 1922.

Walter Van Brunt’s 1921 book Duluth and St. Louis County, Minnesota: Their Story and People includes a blurb about George Gray:

George A. Gray, president and active head of the George A. Gray Company, is an old and prominent Duluth business man, with an active experience in the city of more than thirty years. He came to Duluth July 5, 1888, and for the first two years was employed in the retail furnishing store of J. T. Condon. He had acquired his early education at Oak Grove Seminary and in a business college at Boston, Massachusetts, and having been a bookkeeper for a year and a half in a retail drug store. Leaving the Condon store he became office manager of the Duluth Iron & Steel Company for a year and a half. For the next eleven years he was with I. Friemuth, beginning as a bookkeeper and office manager. Later he took an interest in the Tallant Company, and in 1902 organized and incorporated the George A. Gray Company, of which he has been president, with M. B. Gray, vice president, and H. L. Peck, secretary and treasurer.

Mr. Gray is a member of the Commercial Club, the Duluth Boat Club, the Kitchi Gammi Club, Duluth Curling Club, Duluth Auto Club, the Modern Samaritans, The Y. M. C. A., and is a member of the Congregational Church and of the Republican Party.

The postmark on the card featured in this post is mostly illegible, but it appears to have been sent from Crane Lake, Minn. during the month of September, year unknown, by someone who signed off as “Frances J.” The recipient was Lillie German of Knife River.

The text on the back reads:

Dear Friend,
How are you? I am well and hope you are the same. Well, when are you coming up again? Tell Lena to come up. This is all hoping to hear from you.

2 Comments

pats

about 3 weeks ago

This isn't exactly related to the post, but this building became the Maurices headquarters before the new HQ was built on Fourth Avenue West and Superior Street. Does anyone know what's in the Gary building now?

Paul Lundgren

about 3 weeks ago

Wahl’s closed in 1987. Maurices occupied the space from 1989 to 2016. The building was sold in April 2019 to 117 Investments, LLC of Minnetonka. I think Lake Superior Magazine's office in the Skywalk falls inside this building, but I'm not really sure what is happening on other floors ... or if I'm correct about Lake Superior Magazine being on the second floor. Actually, I think Lake Superior Magazine is next door above Dubh Linn.

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