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A.W. Lucas Company

By | Last Modified: May 5, 2017
AW Lucas Store (Credit: Bismarck Public Library Missouri River Room)

A.W. Lucas & Company, often shortened to A.W. Lucas or simply Lucas’s, was a local department store in Bismarck for over eighty years. A.W. Lucas was established in 1899 as the result of a partnership between Arthur Lucas and William O’Hara. It served as the first real competition to long-time local department store Webb Brothers, who actually welcomed the competition by providing financial support to Lucas and O’Hara’s new business venture.

Lucas assumed full ownership of the store when O’Hara left the business in June 1902. By 1924, the store had outgrown its original location and relocated into an adjacent building. Over the years, A.W. Lucas continued to expand, maintaining its downtown presence until establishing itself as an original anchor store for Gateway Mall in 1979 before forever closing.

The original building that housed A.W. Lucas has housed Woodmansee’s Office Supply Store since the mid-1920s, shortly after Lucas’s relocation. The space Lucas formerly occupied at Gateway Mall has seen several other tenants, most notably Herbergers, Conlin’s Furniture, and Famous Labels.

Interior of AW Lucas & Company store. Image courtesy MISSOURI RIVER ROOM COLLECTION, BISMARCK PUBLIC LIBRARY Woodmansee's now occupies the original home to A.W. Lucas & Company. At one time or another, A.W. Lucas occupied each of these buildings. At one time or another, A.W. Lucas occupied each of these buildings.

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