In this installment of Once Upon a Time in Lubbock, we look at a long-gone department store, one of the grandest to ever exist in Lubbock: Hemphill-Wells.

This was the true department store in Lubbock dating back to the 1920s.

The original downtown store stood as a monument to the good old days for years. It was the place to see and be seen. It was not unusual to see the mayor or other business leaders at the Tea Room.


This company really knew what customer service was. You always had a full staff, ready and eager to help you will all of your shopping needs.

Here is the directory of the downtown location looked like:

(Courtesy of The Department Store Museum)


Appliances • Barber shop

First Floor
Fine Jewelry • Silverware • Costume Jewelry • Handbags • Gloves • Belts • Accessories • Hat Bar • Lingerie Bar • Hosiery • Cosmetics • Women's Shoes • Children's Shoes • Candy • Fine Foods • Stationery • Luggage • Men's Furnishings • Menswear • Men's Shoes • Gentry Shop

Fountain • Rondeley Room Restaurant • Book Shop • Customer Service • Cash Office • Credit Office • Travel Center • Salon of Beauty

Second Floor
Piece Goods •  Notions • Closet Shop • Bedding • Bath Shop • Linens • Housewares • Kitchen Appliances • China • Glassware • Crystal • Lamps • Gift Shop • Boys' Wear

Third Floor
Lingerie • Foundations • Robes • Uniform Corner • Maternity Shop • Beachwear • Sportswear • Ladies' Dresses • Career Shop • Better Dresses • Signature Shop • Fur Shop • Bridal Shop • Millinery • Coats • Suits • Junior World • Girls' Wear • Toddlers' Wear • Infants' Wear •

They really did have just about everything you could be looking for!


Later there would be a second location opened at 50th and Flint Avenue according to the Polk city directory of 1962. Though it is said to have been closer to Gary Avenue.


And of course, it was one of the original anchor stores at the South Plains Mall. (And it had the Gold Room for great food and a view of the fountain in center court!)

During the Christmas season, Hemphill-Wells was known for its ornate Christmas display in the downtown location. (It was a tradition that Reagor-Dykes brought back this past December.)

Hemphill-Wells closed for good in 1986 and Dillard’s would take its place at the South Plains Mall.

Here are some classic Hemphill-Wells commercials that were produced by KAMC ABC 28 in the 1980s for you to enjoy!

Credit: YouTube - TV 14 Lubbock & TAMI

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