Calvin Coolidge is President of the United States, Amelia Earhart has become the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean, and Potter and Anderson Jewelers is opening their doors for the first time on Fulton Street in Downtown Peoria. The year is 1928 and young Tom Potter and Gus Anderson have left Crawford’s Jewelers to open a new store of their own. As one of the original members of the American Gem Society, their business was built on confidence and trust, focused on offering truly fine quality jewelry, gifts, and services at the most reasonable price possible. Adhering steadfastly to those principles saw them through the Great Depression that followed. A terrible time that claimed many similar businesses.
World War II brought new challenges and after earning a Purple Heart and field promotions to the rank of Major, Frank Stubbs returned home and married Robby Anderson, the daughter of Gus Anderson. Frank was an artist and became a master at hand engraving and Gemology. In January of 1962, a devastating fire burned down the entire block of Fulton Street including Potter and Anderson. The P&A family rolled up their sleeves and rebuilt the store at the same location only to have the property purchased by Illinois Bell seven years later, one year after the passing of Gus Anderson.
Potter and Anderson Jewelers moved to 325 Main Street and in 1976 was joined by Curt Stubbs, Son of Frank and Robby Stubbs, after his graduation from the Gemological Institute of America in Los Angeles. Then in the summer of 1986, the store was once again destroyed by fire when Jim’s Steak House was gutted by a fire that then spread to Potter and Anderson, which was next door.
Undaunted, Potter and Anderson Jewelers once again rose from the ashes, opening a spacious, beautiful, new store at the corner of Hamilton Blvd and Jefferson St. The family continued in business downtown until the retail environment caused a move north in 1994 to Sheridan Road, just north of Glen Avenue where the business flourished for twenty two years.
Now that tradition continues in a brand new store at 1135 W Glen Avenue. The new store has a warm friendly feel and the very latest in jewelry fashion and design. Fine gifts have always been a staple of the Potter and Anderson inventory and that continues with many new unique additions and the beautiful signature gift wrapping has always been a part of the unmistakable Potter and Anderson presentation.
As our storied history shows, small business is challenging, but at the same time very rewarding. Blessed through the years with wonderful employees, being at work has always been fun. Eighty nine years of single family ownership shows a love and commitment to the Peoria community where customers become friends and serving them is so much more than just making a living.