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MHS Centennial Business: Pringle’s Men’s Wear / Welch’s Men’s Furnishings (Boissevain)

Pringle’s Men’s Wear in Boissevain started as Welch’s Men’s Furnishings. Alex Welch began a home business in shoe sales and repair in late 1894. In March 1895 the Globe carried this advertisement:

“I am in a downtrodden business, you know. And people seem to glory in keeping me at their feet, but upon my soles you will find the best man in town walking in boots and shoes bought from me. I do not feel at all angry about my downtrodden business simply because my February trade was very good.”

By 1898 he expanded into men’s clothing, occupying premises at 416 South Railway, then Main Street in a store twenty feet by one hundred and ten feet. In 1916 he expanded the store to twenty-six by one hundred and twenty. He sold men’s clothing, boots and shoes, but kept the shoe repair business at the back of the store, operated by Mr. A. Adams.

In 1920 he took his son Jim and Campbell Dow into partnership and soon retired to real estate, insurance, politics and community service, though he was still involved in the firm in 1944 when it celebrated its first half century of operation. In 1963 Del and Wayne Pringle purchased the business from Jim Welch and continued the business in the same location. In 1980 Del Pringle withdrew, and it continued to operate as Pringle’s Men’s Wear. In May 2000, the business moved from the original location to newer and larger premises at South Railway, where it continues to serve the community carrying on the original business founded by Alex Welch.

An MHS Centennial Business Award was presented by Ken A. Zealand in 2002.

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Welch Block (412 South Railway Street, Boissevain)

Memorable Manitobans: Alexander Robert Welch (1873-1961)

Sources:

Based largely on information from the local history Beckoning Hills, published in 1981.

Page revised: 28 December 2014

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