Excelsior Springs was chosen as the location for a new Montgomery Ward, a department store chain originating in 1871, because of its rural location in the heart of rich agriculture and the rapid growth that was happening in and around the area due to the “magic” mineral waters. The Montgomery Ward opened on October 4, 1930 offering 32 departments! The “departments” were most often only an aisle but a department nonetheless.
The only commercial property in the area with an Art-Deco design, and the MW initials displayed on the roof’s edge, after a 15 year run in Excelsior Springs, The Montgomery Ward closed its doors in 1945 with another large department store ready to take its place, JC Penney, opening in 1947. Many people still here today have memories of the JC Penney and visiting as a child, we love to hear these stories and see them come back to the venue for the first time in years!