Excerpt from Our Castleton and Brown Ancestors
Compiled by Arthur Robert and Ellen D. Castleton – 1980

Copied from the scrapbook of Frank M. Castleton
(Now owned by his daughter, Louise Nielson)

Newspaper articles – March 5, 1894

Frank Castleton Assaulted and his Store Pillaged

“A most sensational robbery was committed at the store of the Castleton Bros. at the corner of Second and L Street last evening shortly before 8 o’clock. Frank Castleton, one of the proprietors, was about to close up when a stranger approached rapidly and accosted him with the remark: ;I guess you don’t want to close up for a while!’

Castleton turned toward his supposed customer and as he did so he was seized so that his arms were pinioned and he was dragged the length of the store to the rear, where he was overpowered, his hands tied behind his body with hempen cord, such as is used in tying packages, and his feet lashed together with common cotton twine. Having securely tied him, his captor turned him face downward on the floor and then leisurely proceeded to reward himself for his troubles. He first took a watch, chain and charm from his helpless victim and then relieved the cash drawer of all the money it contained, $4.75.

As he was about to depart Castleton begged him not to leave him in his helpless condition, and was assured that assistance would be sent him. Outside the thief was joined by a pal, who had evidently been on guard, and whom he directed to inform a boy he saw at work in a stable nearby that Castleton wanted to see him at once on important business. (This procedure is supposed, as the boy gives a description of the man who directed him to Castleton is different from that given by Castleton of the man who overpowered and robbed him.) The boy responded and found Castleton as stated, released him from his bonds and joined him in raising a hue and cry which soon aroused the neighborhood and brought scores of excited people to the scene of the most audacious robbery ever recorded in this city.

The following is how Frank Castleton told the story in a later interview. When the robber entered the store he immediately covered Mr. Castleton with a revolver, and securing the keys, he locked the door from the inside and told Mr. Castleton he would not harm him if he kept quiet, but if he attempted to call for help or resist in any way, he would shoot him dead. At the same time he intimated that he had a confederate on the outside and that he intended to do the job in a thoroughly business like manner. Having convinced the storekeeper that he was a desperate man, he commanded him to turn over his watch and chain and money, which he did. The fellow wore a wig and was masked, and was as cool as the traditional cucumber.

After securing the booty referred to, he prepared to take his departure and announced that as he wanted to get away safely he proposed to tie Mr. Castleton hand and foot so as to make it impossible for him to give an alarm. He secured a hempen cord and commanded Castleton to lie on the floor face downward, which he did. This cord was only sufficient to bind Castleton’s hands, and after assuring himself that there was no more cord and rope in the store, he coolly placed his revolver on the counter and improvised a strong rope from a ball of twine. With this he bound his victim’s feet and again looked over the store for something else that might suit his fancy, and was about to go when Castleton begged him not to keep his watch as he prized it very highly. He told the thief he was welcome to take his overcoat or anything else he might wish, but not to go away with his timepiece. Much to his surprise the watch was returned, but the thief declined to take the overcoat.

As Castleton says, he fully expected to be hit on the head and dazed before the robber left, but the latter took compassion on him, folded his overcoat nicely and placed it under his head for a pillow and went away, leaving him in this condition.

~ Another little later article:

The Castleton Robbery Explained

The news in yesterday’s paper that the watch and chain taken from Castleton’s store in Monday night’s robbery had been returned by the thief created a genuine sensation. The whole facts of this case have now come out and have added more than ever to the interest.

It appears that while the robber was passing the store on Monday afternoon, he saw a load of Beehive Soap being unloaded in front. The sight proved too much for his cupidity, and unable to withstand temptation, he broke into the building as detailed in Tuesday’s papers. As he was loading up with the soap, his eye caught sight of the watch and chain and he appropriated that too. Next day he had occasion to use the soap he had stolen. He had no sooner done so than he was filled with remorse and the thought occurred to him that an institution which carried so superior an article of homemade goods merited better treatment even from a burglar. So tying up the watch and chain in a neat bundle, he sent it back to the owner, but he kept the soap. This is a very tall and decided feather in the cap of Grant Soap Company.”

(We later found that the above article was an advertisement put in the paper by the Grant Soap Company.)

Excerpt from Our Castleton and Brown Ancestors
Compiled by Arthur Robert and Ellen D. Castleton – 1980

Copied from the scrapbook of Frank M. Castleton
(Now owned by his daughter, Louise Nielson)

From the Intermountain Retailer – Date unknown

“The combined efforts of an entire family over a period of time has resulted in one of the most interesting stories of the retail trade yet uncovered.

When James J. Castleton was taken ill, Mrs. Castleton and her sons set up a small store at the corner of Second Avenue and L Street in Salt Lake City. Here Mrs. Castleton, besides carrying a small stock of food supplies, sold many items of dry goods and notions, to which the women of the community were readily attracted. A.R. Castleton, although quite young, was a real assistance to his mother.

The mother did very well as a manager and the business grew rapidly. Will Castleton resigned his position with the S.P. Teasdel Company, on of the pioneer merchandising houses in Salt Lake, to help take care of the growing business at the store.

In 1891, Frank Castleton, the present manager, left his work to fulfill a fission in England. Before he left; however, plans had already been made to construct a new building to house the continually growing Castleton store. In 1891 and 1892 the building was made a reality and the scope of trade greatly enlarged.

The institution was known as the Mrs. F.S. Castleton Co. until 1893 when it was reorganized under the name of Castleton Bros. W.J. Castleton became a member of the company at this time and acted as manager. In this same year, Frank M. Castleton came back to Salt Lake and instead of returning to his former position with the Teasdel Company became associated with his brothers at the Second Avenue institution.

Other kinds of merchandise were added to the stock soon after the name of the company was changed. A full line of dry goods was carried under the special direction of Frank, the newest member of the company. Hay, grain, flour, drugs, toys, notions, as well as a full line of vegetables, fruits and groceries were part of the stock. Fresh meats, however, were never carried. In the days of the late 1890’s, such individuals as the distributor and jobber were unknown in the retail trade. Hay grain, flour, potatoes, as well as groceries, were purchased by the Castletons in carload lots. It was a common practice for the customer to buy up a sufficient supply of four, potatoes, etc., to carry him through the entire winter. To be able to supply this demand, large stocks had to be kept constantly on hand, because a great deal of purchasing was done directly from New York and Chicago.

A very prosperous business was experienced by the new organization of brothers. The company was conducted as a corporation with the mother, Mrs. Castleton, as the chief stockholder, and until her death in 1922, she was a dominant factor in the direction of the store’s affairs.

An interesting angle in the history of the Castleton store is the number of young men who received their first grocery training as delivery boys and later made their own success in the grocery business. Some of these are David A. Affleck, who started when he was so small he could hardly carry the sacks of flour that fell his part to deliver; Bert Olson, a long prominent in grocery association work; the Cardwell brothers, who now have their own store; and Bud Spencer, operator of the Eighth Avenue Grocery.

In 1022 when Mr. Castleton died, the brothers who were interested in the company met to settle its affairs. At this time Frank M. Castleton bought out his brothers and with his son, Frank B., returned to operate the store as the Castleton Bro. Company. Present manager states that although it was a very difficult time, due to the depression following the world war, the store held its own due to the many friends they had made in earlier years.

When the red and white system was advanced, Mr. Castleton was the third to sign. In regards to the value of the organization he states, “I feel that the red and white system has meant the salvation of our goods trade from his store.

Here we have told of a pioneer company founded and nurtured by Mrs. Castleton and carried on by her sons; a company whose progressive management has held it consistently in the van of Utah retail industry; a company whose polices have been carried on by a number of the young men who were trained as assistants; a company now going ahead due to the consistent efforts of Frank M. Castleton with the assistance of his son, Frank B., who is secretary and treasurer of the company.