Encyclopedia o f Chicago
Entries : Keith Bros.
Keith Bros.

Keith Bros.

Keith Brothers advertisement, 1871
In 1858, Osborn R. Keith and Albert E. Faxon founded Keith & Faxon, a wholesale millinery business located on Lake Street. Sales during the first year reached nearly $75,000. In 1860, when Edson Keith became a partner, the firm became Keith, Faxon & Co. When Faxon retired in 1865, and Elbridge G. Keith joined, the company became Keith Bros. After the 1871 fire, the company moved to the southeast corner of Wabash Avenue and Monroe Street. In 1884, when annual sales stood at about $4.5 million, Keith Bros. became Edson Keith & Co. By this time, the company was a leading Midwestern dry-goods wholesaler, employing about 200 people at its Chicago headquarters, nearly 500 more at a factory in Milwaukee, and about 40 traveling salesmen. In 1896, the company's entire dry-goods stock was purchased by Ehrich Bros. of New York. The Edson Keith Mercantile Co. moved its headquarters to nearby Michigan Avenue in 1899, where it continued in business through the 1920s.