Skip to main content

Fred W. Sanders materials

Fred W. Sanders Materials

Save page 1 of 2
Open Finding Aid

Finding aid for the Fred W. Sanders Materials


Butler Center for Arkansas Studies
100 Rock Street
Little Rock, Arkansas, 72201
(501) 320-5700

Repository: Butler Center for Arkansas Studies
Creator:Shannon, Elsa Sanders
Title: Fred W. Sanders Materials
Dates: 1868-1969
Quantity: 1.0 Linear feet
Abstract:This collection of records concerns the Sanders family papers and Sanders Variety Store business records.
Identification: MSS.01.08
Language: English


This collection is arranged topically and chronologically.

Scope and Contents

This collection of records concerns the Sanders family papers and Sanders Variety Store business records.

Biographical Note

Frederick Williams Sanders was born in Stone County, Arkansas, in 1873, to German immigrant parents, Frederick W. and Fanny R. Sanders. The younger Frederick W. was the fourth of ten children. The senior Frederick was well-educated and spoke five languages fluently; after moving to Little Rock in the late 1870s, he often served as a court interpreter for cases involving foreigners. In addition, he was a successful pottery merchant and well-respected member of the Little Rock community. The younger Fred W. Sanders began Sanders Photography Studio at 618 1/2 Main Street in the 1890s. At the turn of the century, he became involved in Ephraim Epstein's Glass and Crockery Company at 408 Main Street in Little Rock. Two years later, in 1902, he and William Bracy bought out Epstein and started their own wholesale and retail company in glass and crockery. In 1906, 408 Main Street became F. W. Sanders and Company; this same year Sanders closed his photography studio to focus his business acumen on fine glassware, wholesale and retail. In a short number of years, Fred established many close personal and business connections with merchants throughout the country; he used this influence to introduce Niloak pottery to markets outside Arkansas, thus, becoming instrumental to the success of the Benton, Arkansas pottery company. In 1915, Fred Sanders married Beatrice Sanders, twenty-five years his junior, of Bastrop, Louisiana. They had a son, Fred W. Sanders, Jr., in 1916. Two years later, Sanders sold his company to his brother Louis and took his young family to Ocean Park, California. There, Sanders lived in semi-retirement and during this period, he and Beatrice had another child, a daughter Elsa Ruth. Several years later Sanders felt obligated to return to Little Rock to help Louis' failing business. In 1925, Fred sold the Sanders Company to the Blass family and Fred went into a retirement phase once more. Later, in 1938, he opened Sanders Variety Store on the corner of Breech and Kavanaugh Streets in the Hillcrest district of Little Rock. This store was a business fixture in the community until Sanders sold it in 1946 to a Carroll W. Stegall, Jr.; the business became Hillcrest Variety Store. Fred Williams Sanders died November 13, 1954, at the long time family home, 4402 Woodlawn Avenue in Little Rock. After Rabbi Ira Sanders performed the funeral service, Fred was buried in the Jewish Cemetery in Little Rock.

Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.

Sanders Variety Store. (Little Rock, Ark.)
Sanders, Frederick Williams, 1873-1954
Small business -- Arkansas.


Restrictions on Access

Unrestricted access.

Restrictions on Use

Non-circulating; In house-use only.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Fred W. Sanders Materials, MSS 01-08, Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, Arkansas Studies Institute

Acquisition Information

Donated by Elsa Shannon, 2001

you wish to report:

Select the collections to add or remove from your search