"138 years in the making"      
The Dannenberg Company
Written by Administrator
Monday, 04 March 2013 21:59
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Walter Dannenberg’s father, Joseph Dannenberg, emigrated from Germany in the 1850s, but did not arrive in Macon until after the Civil War. In 1867, Joseph started a wholesale dry goods store with Myer Nussbaum. In the 1880s, they split up and went into business separately. At that point, Joseph partnered up with W.A. Doody and the business became known as the Dannenberg Company.

At age 16, Joseph’s son, Walter, joined the company and he eventually added a retail business. The company became a leading wholesale enterprise while also became one of the first firms in the country to departmentalize its retail store. Dannenberg’s Department Store was one of the leading stores in Macon. It was on the front lines during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Walter Dannenberg served on the Committee of Businessmen and Black Clergy and helped bring about the peaceful integration of Macon stores. Dannenberg’s quietly took down the segregation signs in its stores without any official announcement and proceeded to integrate its lunch counter without incident. The Dannenberg Department store closed in 1965. At the time, it was the largest department store in the area, but had been hurt by the opening of the local mall. In order to compete, they would have had to renovate the store; instead, they decided to liquidate the business.

Last Updated on Friday, 12 April 2013 00:54