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 “Charles Mayer”, it started as a grocery and general store. The name changed to “Charles Mayer and Company” when the business became a partnership with his clerk of eleven years, William Haueisen. The store later expanded into a five floor building, and sold fine gifts and toys from around the world. The ad above, from 1953, appeared in the Indianapolis Star just a year before the company closed its doors and sold their inventory to LS Ayres because there were no direct male heirs in the Mayer line to continue 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.