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Local librarian seeks photos, stories of old Oklahoma City department stores

The history of John A Brown, Kerr's and Halliburton's are part of Oklahoma City lore, says Ajax Delvecki. He is researching their stories for a book.
by Robert Medley Modified: June 10, 2013 at 12:18 am •  Published: June 10, 2013

His fascination with old Oklahoma City department stores began more than two decades ago when he was in middle school.

Now librarian Ajax Delvecki, 39, is digging up the history of bygone downtown stores.

John A. Brown Department Store, Kerr's Department Store and Halliburton's once defined the character of Oklahoma City, Delvecki said.

“I've kind of been following this since I was at Harding Middle School,” he said. “It started when John A. Brown went out of business in 1984.”

Today Delvecki, who works at the Midwest City Library and lives in northwest Oklahoma City, is gathering memories and photographs of the stores for a book.

“It's just amazing to me that these stores were such a big part of Oklahoma City daily life,” he said. “We are losing so much local history. These stores were just a big part of our community.”

The history of John A. Brown, Kerr's and Halliburton's covers the days of a bustling downtown before the movement toward suburban growth, while capturing tales of homegrown success and economic downturns, Delvecki said.

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by Robert Medley
Breaking News Reporter
Robert Medley has been a reporter for The Oklahoman since 1989, covering various news beats in the Oklahoma City metro area and in the Norman news bureau. He has been part of the breaking news team since 2008. A 1987 University of Oklahoma...
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