MARSHALL, Texas (KLTV) - It started in 1866 when a Jewish merchant from Syracuse, New York, moved to Marshall and opened the first department store in Texas.
Joe Weisman formed Joe Weisman and Company in 1878. Three of his brothers, who followed him to East Texas, worked with him at the mercantile store. Weisman and his wife were active members of the community and contributed to both colleges in Marshall.
In 1900, Weisman relocated the business to this site. According to a book titled “Jewish Life in Small-Town America,” it was the first department store in all of Texas.
In the mid-1910s, a former store clerk, Joe Hirsch, took over the store management. He and his children continued the business for more than 50 years.
Hirsch’s son sold the business in 1972 and it remained open until 1990.
The city later restored the building and today it’s known as The Weisman and is now an antique shop.
The Weisman and its historical marker can be seen at 211 North Washington Avenue.