Sunday, February 17, 2013
Horany's Department Store
Shukri "Sam K" Hourani was a Lebanese immigrant who arrived through Ellis Island at the turn of the century. His great-granddaughter, Stacy, a reporter at the Wichita Times Record News, shared a story of the family's saga into the new country (Horany's Store, 2007). She described Sam K as a "devout Christian." He opened a store first in Schidler, Oklahoma, and after it burned, moved to Archer City, Texas to establish Horany's. Obviously along the way, he Americanized the spelling of his name--not at all uncommon in early immigrants, whether from some desire to seem more American, or to make the pronunciation of a name uncommon to the locals a bit easier to say, or even that Americans changed it for them.
Mitchell opened a store in Megargel, Ray in Olney in the 1920s. In 1947, Fred and John bought the Olney store. At least some of the family were members of the First Methodist Church, and Mitchell's wife was Catholic. After Mitchell's death, Margaret continued to operate the store. The store closed in the 1990s.
An amazing number of obituaries for area women (in their 80s or 90s) listed work as a clerk at Horany's for 18-20 years.