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GALLERY: J C Penney Store Closings 2017 List

James Cash Penney was born in Hamilton, Missouri. After graduating from high school, Penney worked for a local retailer. He relocated to Colorado at the advice of a doctor, hoping that a better climate would improve his health. In 1898, Penney went to work for Thomas Callahan and Guy Johnson, who owned dry goods stores called Golden Rule stores in Colorado and Wyoming. In 1899, Callahan sent Penney to Evanston, Wyoming, to work with Johnson in another Golden Rule store. Callahan and Johnson asked Penney to join them in opening a new Golden Rule store. Using money from savings and a loan, Penney joined the partnership and moved with his wife and infant son to Kemmerer, Wyoming, to start his own store. Penney opened the store on April 14, 1902. He participated in the creation of two more stores and purchased full interest in all three locations when Callahan and Johnson dissolved their partnership in 1907. In 1909, Penney moved his company headquarters to Salt Lake City, Utah to be closer to banks and railroads. By 1912, Penney had 34 stores in the Rocky Mountain States. In 1913, all stores were consolidated under the J. C. Penney banner. The so-called "mother store", in Kemmerer, opened as the chain's second location in 1904. It still operates, as of 2018, albeit with shorter hours than many other locations, and is closed on Sundays.

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