Horany’s Department Store
Ninety-four years ago, Mr. and Mrs. Ray Horany founded Horany’s Department Store. Although the store—then known as The Leader Store—was initially launched in Megargel with Henry Byrd, in 1933. The Horanys moved the store to 105 E. Main Street in Olney and changed the name to Horany’s after acquiring full ownership.
In 1947, John Horany and Freddy Horany purchased an interest in Horany’s Department Store after their service in World War II. All three Horany brothers operated the store together until 1970 when Ray decided to sell his interest to his brothers.
In a 1985 article in Olney Enterprise, John Horany explained what we now consider as “corporate culture,” stating, “From the beginning, Horany’s has had a policy of carrying only the top clothing brands at as low a price as possible. And we have also had a policy of friendly customer service—these two principles have been the main thrust of our business success,” Horany said.
With all three brothers active in church, civic and school affairs according to Olney Enterprise, John Horany concluded, “We have always had an interest in making Olney a better community.”
Freddy Horany’s son, Mark Horany, is still a resident in Olney and the owner of Mark’s Motors on Main Street. Mark is in the photo below with his father Freddy and with his Uncle Johnny. Mark previously managed the Radio Shack franchise that the Horanys acquired in 1983. The most recent photo of Mark captures him holding the old store sign that was once affixed to the building behind him.
Mark Horany adored his parents, and he provided background information about how they met.
In 1942, Mark’s mother Lucille Shamas moved from Bristow, Oklahoma to Archer City, Texas to work at Horany’s Department Store. While residing with her sister Margariet and brother-in-law Mitchell Horany, Margariet introduced Lucille to Freddy who was on leave from the Air Force in 1941. They married in 1944 and resided in Roswell, New Mexico until the Air Force discharged Freddy in 1945. They began building their family in 1946 with the birth of their first child, Freddy K. Freddy senior bought an oil lease in Archer County and worked in the oil fields until they moved to Olney in 1947; and their second child Patricia was born the same year, followed by Nancy in 1951 and Mark in 1955. Freddy worked at Horany’s for more than 50 years until he and Johnny liquidated the store.
Some of the Olney Heritage Museum patrons shared nostalgic memories looking at the old sign that will eventually be on display in the museum while looking back on what was and perhaps thinking about what could still exist in Olney.
The legacy of the Horanys is still evident in Olney, and the expansion of their family solidifies that legacy. Freddy K has two children, Jason and Chad. Patricia married Jerry Cooper and they have three children Stacy, Stephanie and Cory. Nancy married Ed Hildebrandt with whom she has three children: Heather, Traci and Lindsey. Freddy and Lucille were the grandparents of 11 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
Share your memories about Horany’s Department Store in Facebook.com/OlneyEnterprise or write a letter to the editor.