In 1894, A.P. "Gus" Anthony begged his older brother James to lend him $700 to buy a little jewelry store in Titusville. The next year, Gus followed Henry Flagler south to West Palm Beach. Today, the fashion business started by Gus, James and their brothers is the oldest business in the city.
The Anthony's Family
A.P. "Gus" Anthony opens a counter in the Post Office, which is on the first floor of The Palms Hotel, at the eastern end of Clematis Street. Soon, he opens his first shoe and clothing store next to the Post Office. His slogan: “Anthony's Shoes Are Silent Salesmen."
Henry Flagler's railroad heads south to Miami - taking many businesses with it. The Anthony brothers kept their headquarters in West Palm Beach but also open a store in Miami. "The summer of 1896 was the hardest summer the business life of West Palm Beach ever knew," Emile Anthony, Gus' younger brother, wrote in 1937. West Palm Beach was just two years old.
Clematis Street Location
Anthony's moved to a new building at the northeast corner of Clematis Street and Olive Avenue. And its Palm Beach store - in the Poinciana shops at Henry Flagler's luxurious Royal Poinciana Hotel - is doing a big business with wealthy tourists.
1904 - 1914
"For the original firm, these 10 years between 1904 and 1914 were the golden years of greatest progress," James Anthony wrote in 1936. Gus and James relinquished many store responsibilities to younger brother Emile, who would later run the stores for decades. During this period, the Anthony brothers owned the local newspaper, The Tropical Sun, for two years.
Newspaper ads from the 1920s
The three-story flagship building on Clematis Street opens. Second floor devoted to women's clothing, including designer clothes. Soon after, a mezzanine level - featuring sporting goods - is built.
Anthony's speciality: Chic retail in resort towns. In addition to Palm Beach and West Palm Beach stores and a men's store in the Boca Raton Resort, Anthony's has stores in Fort Pierce, Daytona Beach, Ormond Beach, Gainesville, Titusville, Hot Springs, Va., White Sulphur Springs, W. Va., Asheville, N.C. Hendersonville, N.C. and Dayton, Ohio.
Store on Clematis Street in
West Palm Beach
With West Palm Beach reeling from the real-estate bust of 1925-26, Anthony's buys four pages in The Palm Beach Post- a record for local advertising at the time - to advertise its annual anniversary sale."The anniversary sale is staged this year to meet conditions of the hour," Emile D. Anthony wrote. “We are giving more values."
Hurricane blows the roof off Clematis Street store. "We had no hurricane insurance," said M.P. "Ham" Anthony, Emile's son.
After World War II, they expanded the women's clothing line.
Anthony's branches out again, buying out the Bradley & Taylor stores in Fort Lauderdale. A new growth spurt begins. By now, Emile Anthony Sr. has passed the business to his sons, E.D. Jr., Carl and Ham.
Anthony's has 11 women's stores from Hialeah to Titusville with the only men's store remaining in the original downtown West Palm Beach store.
Women's fashion business continues to thrive. Anthony's discontinues its downtown men's department to concentrate solely on women's fashions.
President: M. Pope Anthony Jr.
Anthony's flagship store on Clematis Street closes; Juno store opens.
Anthony's reopens Clematis Street store in time for city's 1994 centennial.
Anthony's has nine stores - downtown West Palm Beach, Palm Springs, west Lake Worth, Boynton Beach, Juno, Jupiter, two Stuart stores and Vero Beach.
Anthony’s has 14 locations around Florida and is celebrating more than 120 years in business.