M. Lowenstern & Co.

Morris Lowenstern

Morris Lowenstern Portrait

M. Lowenstern & Co. Advertisement

M. Lowenstern & Co. Advertisement, 1886

201-205 W Main St., Urbana


Established by Morris Lowenstern (1836-1916), a German immigrant, this dry goods store sold ready-to-wear clothing, hats, shoes, and other textiles like carpets. Lowenstern first immigrated to New York in 1857. He moved west living in Chicago, St. Louis, New Orleans, and Louisville before settling in Urbana in 1864 and opening a small store on the southwest corner of Main and Race Streets In 1865, Lowensternpurchased the 200 block of West Main St. expanding over the years into a large 3-story double building. His son, Monroe (1865-1934), purchased an interest in the business when he turned 21 changing the name of the store to Lowenstern & Son. Monroe Lowenstern sold the store in 1934 to W.B. James, aformer manager of Urbana’s Montgomery Ward.