How many businesses do you know who have not only been in business for over 100 years, but are also still owned by the same family AND still located in the same town? At Montgomery's Furniture, we are proud to have been part of South Dakota's business landscape since 1887.
Our story begins in 1884 with George H. Montgomery's decision to leave Vermont and head west. He knew a good thing when he saw it and once he reached Alexandria, South Dakota he decided to stay. In 1887, he established the furniture store and also a funeral home, as in that time period the local furniture dealer often also served as the undertaker. The business did well in it's first five years and Mr. Montgomery decided the time was right for expansion. In 1902, he and his brother-in-law, William Ryburn, built a large two-story building in downtown Alexandria which housed not only the furniture store but also a bank, law office and Masonic Temple. Although Mr. Montgomery passed away in 1922, he left his business in the capable hands of his son W.R., who had joined the firm in 1918, and his son-in-law, Gilbert Loomer, who had joined the firm in 1920. Montgomery's Furniture continued to prosper under the supervision of the second generation of family owners. The third generation came on board in the 1950s when Gilbert Loomer's sons joined the business: first George in 1950 and then James in 1955. The business remained in the two-story building Mr. Montgomery had built until April 1964 when, despite heroic efforts by the local volunteer fire department, a massive fire destroyed the property.
The fire may have destroyed the shell of the business but not the spirit of it's owners. Once the smoke cleared, George and James decided to rebuild the business in a new location. They chose a prime piece of land on the northern edge of Alexandria near Interstate 90. The new building was completed in 1965 and continues to house the Alexandria store to this day. George and James expanded the business with branch locations in the following South Dakota cities: Howard (1963), Arlington (1972), Madison (1980), and Sioux Falls (1980). In 1983 the Loomers decided to sell the funeral business so that they could concentrate their focus on providing the best service possible to their customers in central South Dakota.
Currently, the business is in it's fourth generation of family ownership. James Loomer continues to work at the business on a daily basis alongside his son, Todd Loomer, who has been with Montgomery's Furniture since 1987. Expansion continues to be an ongoing part of the Montgomery's Furniture history. James and Todd saw the need for a furniture store in Mitchell, consequently they opened a location there in 1989. Expansion has continued even into our second century, with the recent doubling of the square footage of our Mitchell location in 2004.
Montgomery's Furniture continues to serve the people of central and southeastern South Dakota with its full line of furniture, home accessories, and flooring. Our most senior salespeople, including James, Todd, Roger Rands (manager of the Mitchell store), and Lyle Weber (manager of the Alexandria store), have combined experience level of over 114 years. We look forward to continuing our tradition of growth and being part of South Dakota's business community for the next 100 years and beyond!