The Leonard’s Legacy: Integrity. Innovation.
Fort Worth Board Certified Family Lawyer Bob Leonard is committed to his clients. He comes from a foundation of unique, innovative and professional standards.
His grandfather, Obie Leonard was a visionary, far ahead of his time, working in a business started by his astute and talented brother Marvin Leonard. His commitment to integrity, innovation and honor permeated his life and his family.
In 1918, Marvin Leonard opened a small store that sold groceries and salvaged merchandise. He was soon joined by his brother, Obadiah Paul “Obie” Leonard, and the store eventually grew to occupy about 6 city blocks in downtown Fort Worth, Texas. Leonard Brothers became a store so large that even to this day it dwarfs anything that any single retail user has ever tried to accomplish.
By 1929 Leonard’s was the largest single-site purveyor of meat, groceries, baked goods and produce in Texas. In 1935 a state-of-the-art creamery was added and the Leonard’s purchased raw milk and cream from area dairymen then produced their own pasteurized milk, butter, cream and ice cream.
The store made its own frozen fudge-sicles and even operated a laundry. Leonard’s made its own candy and pasta. It roasted coffee on the premises. One Saturday in 1937 the store’s bakery sold 30,000 one-pound loafs of bread at three loafs for a nickel. Leonard’s advertising slogan was, “More merchandise for less money,” and the store delivered on that promise.
In 1933, during the great depression, President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared a “Banking Holiday” and closed all of the nation’s banks to prevent the American banking system from total collapse. People had no place to cash their paychecks and no money to live on.
Leonard’s responded by printing their own currency, a store “brand” script, and minting their own coins. They cashed people’s paychecks with a combination of store script and cash and soon other businesses in Fort Worth began accepting Leonard’s script as payment for goods and services. Leonard’s customers could purchase those things that they needed and, for a very long time, they remember that Leonards had made it possible.
At Leonard’s you could buy vegetable seeds to plant in your garden or purchase a copy of Emily Post’s Etiquette. Leonard’s was a department store with the latest in affordable fashions and a complete farm store, a grocery store, a hardware store, a beauty saloon and an automotive supply. It was a furniture store and a sporting goods store and at Christmas there was Toyland, the most spectacular toy store in town. Marvin and Obie said that Leonard’s was, “A one-stop shopping center,” years before there were shopping centers.
When the large crowds at Leonard’s created a parking problem in downtown Fort Worth, Marvin and Obie built the world’s only privately owned subway to shuttle customers from a remote parking area to the store in complete comfort.
As prices for nationally known name brand merchandise went up, Leonard’s responded with store brands to save customers money. The store offered items such as Leonard’s brand lawn mowers and laundry detergent, Leonard’s brand cigars and bicycles, Leonard’s brand motor oil and a Leonard’s brand freezer to store the wonderful grocery bargains that were available every day at Leonard’s.
Leonard’s was a cross between a modern day super store and a shopping mall. It was a place to purchase merchandise and a place to meet up with friends. Going to Leonard’s on a Saturday was an event that the whole family looked forward to doing together whether they traveled to the store from across town or across the state.
Willie Nelson wrote his classic Christmas tune, Pretty Paper, about a man making his meager living selling pencils outside the iconic store. The song’s vivid imagery takes you to a place and time that is gone but not lost or forgotten. Remember the song? Want to hear it now?
The Leonard’s Legacy is a part of what makes Attorney Bob Leonard a great champion for clients today. Like his grandfather, Bob understands how to assess a complex issue and create a solution unique to each case.