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The best of shoes

Posted December 24, 2014 in Community Featured, Boone

The McCune Shoe Store Sold the Best of Shoes for Persons of all Ages


The appearance of the building at 802 Story Street has undergone a dramatic transformation since its construction in 1888 by Charles A. McCune to house his shoe store.  Its once elaborate Victorian exterior is gone, replaced by a plain art deco facade.

The transformation came after WWII when the Chamber of Commerce decided that Boone’s downtown need a facelift. In 1946, architect Reuben S. Lantz produced architectural drawings for up-graded store fronts on both sides of the 700 and 800 blocks of Story Street.  The 802 Story Street building was one of the few to use Lantz’s design. 

The building on the northeast corner of Eighth and Story Streets was built in 1888 by Charles A. McCune to house his shoe store.

The building on the northeast corner of Eighth and Story Streets was built in 1888 by
Charles A. McCune to house his shoe store.


Across the street at 721 Story, the original home of the 1872 City State Bank also has weathered alterations.  A modern façade covers the street level and the decorative features of its top cornice have been removed, although, some of the old bank’s Victorian splendor can be seen in the surface of the upper story. 

Both of these buildings have housed the McCune Shoe Company. McCune and his two partners, S. P. and H. L. Dean of Tipton, Iowa, opened their first shoe store in Boone in 1873 at 711 Story Street.  Three years later, McCune bought out the Deans’ interest and ran the store by himself for the next fourteen years. Five years later, he moved the shoe store to 701 Story Street, remaining there until he constructed the building at 802 Story.

In 1890, the McCune Shoe Company became a stock company, incorporated by McCune, J. K. Elwell and O. A. Nelson. Ten years later, McCune sold his interest in the concern and moved to Des Moines to enter the wholesale business.  Elwell sold his interest in the store in 1907, but Nelson remained a stockholder.  In 1910, Nelson served as the firm’s secretary-treasurer; with George W. Nelson its vice president and Henry Von Krog its president. Around 1911, the firm switched locations with the City State Bank, which was housed diagonally across the street at 721 Story Street.

The McCune Shoe Company sold shoes for men, women and children, and, according to the Boone News Republican in 1910, stocked “the highest grade merchandise” and catered “to the very best trade.”

The business retained the McCune name until the early 1920s.  Between 1921 and 1923, it became the Denecke Shoe Store, which was operated by the Mason City firm of Snyder-Anderson, a dry goods company.  By 1929, it had become the Peterson-Hedlund Shoe Store.  Harold L. Fisher became the proprietor in 1935, and the Fisher Shoe Store remained in operation until the late 1990s.  When it closed, a shoe store had been at the 721 Story Street location for at least 88 years.  The building now houses Details Spa.


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