JCPenney executives gathered Tuesday in Hamilton, Mo., to celebrate the 115th anniversary of the first retail store founded by Hamilton native James Cash Penney.
Penney’s first store, named the Golden Rule, opened in 1902 in Kemmerer, Wyo., but his birthplace is where his memory is kept alive. Penney personnel volunteered at the J.C. Penney Memorial Library & Museum to help prepare the museum for professional painting and do some landscaping.
Penney incorporated a small chain of stores in 1913 and renamed them the J.C. Penney Co. He opened his 500th store in 1924 in Hamilton, where his museum was dedicated in 1976. The farm home where he grew up was relocated to Hamilton in 1988.
The company currently brands itself as JCPenney. A company spokesman said it operates 1,000 stores now.