Voertman’s College Store has to be one of the longest operating businesses on the same location in Denton. According to an oral history done by UNT in 1977 with Paul Voertman, they have been at the same location on West Hickory since his father Roy opened the store in 1925, 91 years. Here is an ad from the 1925 NTSTC Yucca yearbook:
Here it is in 1942, long before the renovation by Mount-Miller architects in 1968:
Picture courtesy of the UNT Photo Archive.
Who were “Mount-Miller”? We’ll do an extended blog post and exhibit at the Emily Fowler Library about them later in the year, but for now, Tom Polk Miller (1916-2000) and Mary Isabel Mount Miller (1916-2007) owned an architecture firm that designed or renovated between two and three hundred homes and commercial spaces in town. You’ve probably seen their work but didn’t realize who was responsible. Their work in many cases could fall under the Mid-Century Modern era of design. Some notable examples are: The Denton Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Church at 1111 Cordell St., the former Yarbrough’s Pharmacy (now Denton Camera Exchange) on 117 Piner St., the small shopping center at 531 North Elm that formerly held Joe Alford Florist, etc.
Here is a scan of a slide taken by Isabel Mount-Miller in 1972 given to us by their daughter Abigail:
Roy Voertman passed on Sept 20th, 1951 at his home while his son Paul was in the Army. Obituary from the Sept. 21, 1951 Denton Record-Chronicle:
The business was sold to the Nebraska Book Co. in 1990 and further changed hands in 2013 when it was bought by out-of-state investors, The Weitzman Group.
Written by Chuck Voellinger, Special Collections Librarian, Emily Fowler Library. For questions please contact firstname.lastname@example.org