Ad Courtesy of Private Collection of Bradley Keen

In 1840, German immigrant Charles Mayer opened a small store at 29/31 West Washington Street.  Originally called by Mayer’s name, it became Charles Mayer and Company when Mayer made the business a partnership with his clerk of eleven years, William Haueisen.  Mayer’s store later expanded into a five floor building, selling many fine gifts from around the world.  The ad above, from 1953, appeared in the Indianapolis Star just a year before Charles Mayer and Company closed its doors and sold its inventory to LS Ayres in 1954 because there were no direct male Mayer heirs to take over the business.  The original building at 29/31 West Washington street was razed in 1959.

That’s not the end of the story though – the Charles Mayer and Company store was revived by Charles’ great-great grandson, Tim Ryan, and his wife, Claudia, in 1992.  It is now located at 56th and Illinois.