Historic Structures

Department Store History Troutman Building - First National Bank, Connellsville Pennsylvania

In February of 1904, Frank W. Wright of Connellsville and Sankey W. Metzler of Uniontown, both of whom were involved in the mercantile business, organized the Wright-Metzler Company to operate a department store in Connellsville. In January of 1905, the Wright-Metzler Company was incorporated with $50,000. Subsequently, the Connellsville store opened on the first floor of the FNBB. The officers of the company were: Frank W. Wright, president; William W. Wright, vice president; and S. W. Metzler, secretary. In 1907, the Wright-Metzler Company established a second department store on East Main Street in nearby Uniontown. At the time, these two stores were considered the largest department stores in southwestern Pennsylvania with each employing approximately sixty clerks. The 17 September 1913 edition of The Morning Herald, reported that the Uniontown store had experienced such rapid growth that more floor space was necessary. The paper stated," ... the store has completely outgrown its present quarters," as a result two floors were to be added to the existing building. Having already added a second floor to the rear portion of the Wright-Metzler Store in Connellsville in 1906, the papers of 1913 reported that the Connellsville store was taking over the entire second floor of the FNBB forcing the offices on that floor to be vacated.

Corporate organization in the late 1920s consisted of J. L. Cote, Jr., president; S. W. Metzler, vice president; H. D. Wright, secretary; and Adam E. Troutman's, treasurer. Troutman subsequently took over the department store by 1928 and changed the name to Troutman's. Adam E. Troutman, along with J. L. Cote, Sr. founded the first Troutman's store in Greensburg, Westmoreland County, in 1897. The original store operated from the comer of Main and Second Streets in Greensburg. The Troutman's chain became a part of Allied Department Stores which subsequently resulted in expansion and acquisition of stores in Washington, Indiana, Latrobe, and Butler. Following major trends, Troutman's expanded into local shopping malls in the early 1980s. Expansion into shopping malls, however, combined with the purchase of Allied by the Canadian conglomerate of Olympia and York, lead to the closing of most of the downtown based stores in the mid 1980s including Troutman's in both Greensburg and Connellsville.