The Crosby Brothers Co. store of Topeka is not only an institution of that city but of the state at large. It is one of the metropolitan department stores of the Middle West. For thirty-six years or more the firm had been in existence at Topeka, and in that time, more than a generation, the reputation of the firm had become extended, as a result of honorable merchandising, to practically every county of the Sunflower commonwealth.
It was in 1880 that Erastus H. Crosby and his brother William T. Crosby, comprising the firm of Crosby Brothers, located in Topeka and bought out the old house of Bartholomew & Company. With this nuclens they engaged in the general mercantile business, the stock aggregating then about $13,000 in value. In 1893 the brothers bought the stock of the Stevenson & Peckant store and on the location of that store built their present large structure, which for more than twenty years had been a landmark on Kansas Avenue. They carry a stock valued at many hundred thousands of dollars, and it is displayed over three entire floors and basement, the total floor space aggregating about three and a half acres. Approximately two hundred and fifty people find employment in this vast business. The upbuilding of such an enterprise would be a creditable performance in any city of America, and behind the record of the firm is solid integrity, wide experience and business ability of the two Crosby brothers.
Erastus H. Crosby was born in DeSoto Parish in Louisiana, one of a family of seven children whose parents were William and Frances (Hollinsworth) Crosby. His father was a native of Vermont. During his boyhood Mr. Crosby lived in the home of an uncle in Hartford, Coun., and attended the high school of that city. After leaving there he located at St. Louis, Missouri, where he spent cight years in the employ of a wholesale house. Then in 1880 he and his brother came to Topeka, and are now regarded as among the old timers in the business district of the city.
Mr. Crosby is vice president of the Central National Bank of Topeka, is a member of the Masonic Order and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks and belongs to the prominent clubs of Topeka. He is also affiliated with the Ancient Order of United Workmen. His family are members of the Episcopal Church. The Crosby home is at 903 Harrison Street. Mr. Crosby married Miss Helen Dieckrieds, a daughter of Charles B. Dieckrieds of St. Louis. Mr. and Mrs. Crosby have two children: Charles B. and Ellen Louise.