Wacker’s Five and Dime

Wacker’s stores could be found in most of the larger towns in Lea County, usually in the central business district. The stores were named for G. F. Wacker of Oklahoma. He had been working at a dry goods store in Ballinger, Texas and had the vision to start his own store selling low priced goods.

Wacker resigned his position in Ballinger in 1917 and went back to his home town of Ellinger, Texas where he secured a small loan and bought the inventory of a bankrupt variety store. He opened his first store in Hugo, Oklahoma. This was the start of a chain of retail stores. After the modest success of his first outlet, George Wacker, his brother Hugo Wacker and some other friends opened four more stores in Oklahoma. To this, they set up the company headquarters in Pauls Valley, Oklahoma in the early 1920s. Eventually their holdings included several hundred retail stores. At their peak, Wacker’s consisted of more than 200 stores in at least five states.

George Wacker died in 1950. The stores continued on for a number of years under successor ownership. Sometimes when companies merge or go out of business, there is more of a trail, but so far we have round nothing on how this business was finally wound up.

George Wacker’s death notice:

Jal Record, Jal, New Mexico, 9 Feb 1950

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