The earliest Hostetter store, a grocery,
established in 1860 by Jacob Hostetter, was located in the northeast corner
of Center Square. In 1883 Jacob's son, Samuel, became a partner in the
enterprise and in 1894, at the death of his father, he became the sole owner
of the business. During the late years of the century the business was moved
to the northwest corner of Center Square where, in a two storied brick
building, it continued, not only as a grocery store, but as an outlet for
chinaware. At this time Samuel's son, Jacob, became a partner in the
In 1916, the 3rd story and extension were added
In circa 1908, a third story and an extension
were built to enlarge the operation. By 1923 Samuel devoted his time to the
chinaware business while Jacob operated the grocery. Eventually this was
discontinued and the entire operation became Hostetter's China Store - a
business that became known throughout the East for its imported china and
The owner of this noted enterprise died
in 1948 and the business continued under the direction of his son-in-law, J.
Harold Kauffman. At Kauffman's death, in 1955, Hostetter's China Store
gradually ended as his widow, Betty Hostetter Kauffman, sold the remaining
stock, closing the business forever.
In time the building was purchased by
Carl K. Carbaugh and the store room was used as the Western Auto outlet.
Upon the discontinuance of the Western
Auto business the store and the former Conn building were vacated. It
remained unused until purchased by the First National Bank.
S. P. Hostetter Dies;
Noted As Merchant
Samuel P. Hostetter, dean
of Greencastle's merchants, died at 2 o'clock last Saturday afternoon at his
home on North Carlisle street after an illness of eleven weeks. He was aged
Mr. Hostetter was
born in Greencastle on March 26, 1861, the son of the late Jacob and
Georgianna (Washabaugh) Hostetter. In 1883 he became the partner of his
father in the grocery business which the elderly Hostetter had established
in 1860. In those days the firm
maintained its own railroad car, in which Mr.
Hostetter and his son traveled purchase Baltimore and other cities to
purchase and transport their stock of merchandise.
In 1894 Mr. Hosteeter
became sole owner of the business, which he continued to conduct under the
name of J. Hostetter & Son. Always deeply interested in chinaware, he began
to emphasize this department of the business and in the course of time built
up one of the largest stocks of fine china in the country, shipping
merchandise to all parts of the United States and to foreign countries. At
the height of his merchandising career he traveled regularly to New York,
where he was known, as a discriminating buyer of imported china. Indulging
in printing as a hobby, he maintained a print shop in connection with his
store, printing his own stationery and labels and setting up. his own
advertisements. The original two-story building on the west side of Center
Square was enlarged in the early nineteen hundreds into the present
three-story structure, most of which was devoted to china and household
In 1923 Mr. Hostetter sold
the grocery department of the firm to his son, Jacob F. Hostetter, and
thenceforth devoted his entire time to the china department. The grocery
department was discontinued some years later, and the entire building used
for china and house furnishings. On April 1, 1946, Mr. Hostetter sold the
Hostetter China Store to his son-in-law, J. Harold Kauffman, retaining the
house furnishings department located in the rear of the building.
Mr. Hostetter was the last
of his immediate family. He is survived by two sons and one daughter: Jacob
F. Hostetter and Mrs. Elizabeth H. Kauffman, of Greencastle, and S. K.
Hostetter, treasurer of Pennsylvania State College. Five grandchildren and
six great-grandchildren also survive. Mr. Hostetter's wife was the former
Miss Alice E. Funk, a daughter of Aaron and Elizabeth Frick Funk, of
Washington township, Franklin county. He was a member' of the Trinity
Lutheran church of Greencastle.
Funeral services were held
at 2 o'clock Tuesday afternoon at the A. E. Minnich funeral home, conducted
by the Dr. B Clinton Ritz, of Waynesboro, and burial was made in Cedar Hill
cemetery. All Greencastle business places were closed during the hour of
the funeral service.