Needless to say, 1929 was not a great year to open, just as era of the 'Dirty Thirties' started.
However, Grandpa Ted Matheson had a grand vision for the men of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan: They were to be well-dressed despite it all!
Ted Matheson Men's Wear was the first store of it's type in Prince Albert – or for that matter anywhere north of Saskatoon – and was touted as a 'valuable acquisition' for the city.
Ted would be the purveyor of everything the 'well-dressed man' would need, whether he was working or socializing. From Garrett Union-Made Overalls to Marine Serge Suits to 'Society Brand Clothes', the store would carry it all.
The men of Northern Saskatchewan would need no other destination to look as good as their counterparts anywhere in the world.
In the early years, Grandpa Ted employed a tailor and usually someone else to help him during the hours the store was open.
In 1950, as the business expanded, my Uncle Fred Matheson joined Grandpa Ted in the business and the following year, my father Jack Matheson joined them.
The first location of Ted Matheson Men's Wear in 1929 was the building at 1131 Central Avenue, just south of our current location, near the former Royal Bank building.
In the late 1930s, the store moved to 1117 Central Avenue, and then over subsequent years, two buildings were merged to create the space as it exists now.
Building 1111 was first occupied in 1914 by Central Meat Market, while Building 1113 wasn't occupied until the 1920s when it became Prince Albert Bread Co.
Around this time, in the mid-30s, Cash & Carry Meats moved into building 1111, while CPR Telegraphs and Lockwoods Grocery moved into 1113, where the Prince Albert Bread Company was formally.
By the end of the '30s Cash & Carry Meats had left, and, in the early 1940s, Matheson Men's Wear moved up the street into 1111 Central Avenue.
In 1969 CPR Telegraphs left building 1113, and Ted Matheson Men's Wear opened the walls and expanded into 1113 as well.
In 1954 the family began a major renovation and by 1962 more renovations were undertaken to enlarge the store as the business continued to grow. The last major renovations took place in 1970 and 1977.
My father and my Uncle Fred were partners for over 35 years until my father and I bought out Uncle Fred in 1989.
In January of 2002, my Father passed away and I continue the family tradition, operating the store with the same vision my grandfather held over 80 years ago:
I look forward to seeing you at the store.
- Fred Matheson