94 Years – The History of Ted Matheson Men’s Wear
Ted Matheson Men’s Wear first opened its doors in 1929… making 2019 our 90th year in business providing the men of Saskatchewan with great clothing and great service.
Needless to say, 1929 was not a great year to open, just as the era of the ‘Dirty Thirties’ started.
However, Grandpa Ted Matheson had a grand vision for the men of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan: They were to be well-dressed despite it all!
Ted Matheson Men’s Wear was the first store of its type in Prince Albert – or for that matter anywhere north of Saskatoon – and was touted as a ‘valuable acquisition’ for the city.
Ted would be the purveyor of everything the ‘well-dressed man’ would need, whether he was working or socializing. From Garrett Union-Made Overalls to Marine Serge Suits to ‘Society Brand Clothes’, the store would carry it all.
The men of Northern Saskatchewan would need no other destination to look as good as their counterparts anywhere in the world.
We’d like to make our store the best in the world.
– Ted Matheson, Founder
The next generation joins the business.
In the early years, Grandpa Ted employed a tailor and usually someone else to help him during the hours the store was open.
In 1950, as the business expanded, my Uncle Fred Matheson joined Grandpa Ted in the business and the following year, my father Jack Matheson joined them.
As the business grows, the original store moves and expands.
The first location of Ted Matheson Men’s Wear in 1929 was the building at 1131 Central Avenue, just south of our current location, near the former Royal Bank building.
In the late 1930s, the store moved to 1117 Central Avenue, and then over subsequent years, two buildings were merged to create the space as it exists now.
Building 1111 was first occupied in 1914 by Central Meat Market, while Building 1113 wasn’t occupied until the 1920s when it became Prince Albert Bread Co.
Around this time, in the mid-30s, Cash & Carry Meats moved into building 1111, while CPR Telegraphs and Lockwoods Grocery moved into 1113, where the Prince Albert Bread Company was formerly.
By the end of the ’30s Cash & Carry Meats had left, and, in the early 1940s, Matheson Men’s Wear moved up the street into 1111 Central Avenue.
In 1969 CPR Telegraphs left building 1113, and Ted Matheson Men’s Wear opened the walls and expanded into 1113 as well.
In 1954 the family began a major renovation and by 1962 more renovations were undertaken to enlarge the store as the business continued to grow. The last major renovations took place in 1970 and 1977.
The Legacy Continues
My father and my Uncle Fred were partners for over 35 years until my father and I bought out Uncle Fred in 1989.
In January of 2002, my Father passed away and I continue the family tradition, operating the store with the same vision my grandfather held over 80 years ago:
The men of Saskatchewan will be well-dressed and Matheson Men’s Wear will be the only destination they need for the brands they are looking for!
I look forward to seeing you at the store.
– Fred Matheson
Posted Jan 2nd, 2014
Citizen of the Year
In 1996, the tireless volunteer work of Jack Matheson was recognized as he was named Prince Albert’s Citizen of the Year.
The city’s annual Citizen of the Year award is a joint venture between the Prince Albert Daily Herald and the Kinsmen Club of Prince Albert.
Supporters of Jack’s nomination cited his volunteer efforts, presence on numerous committees, and community work as instrumental in the choice.
Jack had always been a very active member in the Prince Albert community and was one of the pillars of this business sector of the city.
In the newspaper article about the award, one individual described Jack very accurately: “Wherever he was in Saskatchewan or Canada or even abroad, Jack took with him the responsibilities of the City of Prince Albert and his pride for the city and the province of Saskatchewan. He was an amazing goodwill ambassador wherever he went.”
Posted Jan 1st, 2014
Jack Matheson Wins the Sam McLeod Legacy Award
In 1997, Jack Matheson was presented with the Samuel McLeod Legacy Award. It was quite an honor and Jack was humbled.
These Prince Albert Business Awards are named in honour of Samuel McLeod, one of the city’s early settlers and entrepreneurs.
Samuel McLeod was a hero to the locals at the turn of the 20th century. Following the collapse of the Lacolle Falls project in 1918, he pledged his personal credit to prevent Prince Albert schools from closing.
It is the legacy of Samuel McLeod’s pioneering spirit, entrepreneurship, civic leadership, and unfailing faith in Prince Albert that propels the Prince Albert Daily Herald to recognize businessmen and women who support this city the way Samuel McLeod did.
Jack Matheson is one of those individuals and we, his family, were very proud that he won this award.
Posted Jan 1st, 2014
Jack Matheson Crescent
In 2002, Jack Matheson, Ted’s son, and Fred’s father passed away far too early.
Jack had been extremely active in the Prince Albert Community for over 40 years and was in his second term as councillor when he passed.
In addition to running a business, raising a family, and being involved in politics, Jack’s volunteer work was also endless: Kinsmen, Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Association, Canadian Cancer Society… the list goes on and on.
It was a real honour for the family when the city of Prince Albert decided to recognize Jack’s enormous contribution. They decided to name a residential street after him: Jack Matheson Crescent.
Jack Matheson was a Prince Albert man, through and through. He never lived anywhere else and would tell anyone who listened that his town was the very best.
Shown in this newspaper clipping from left to right are:
Back Row: Judy Matheson (daughter), Colette (Freds’ wife), Diane (Jack’s wife), Jimmy (son), Fred (son)
Front Row: Tyler (Judy’s son), Jordan (Fred & Colette’s son), Emilie (Fred & Colette’s daughter)
Posted Dec 9th, 2013
It's true... Prime Ministers shop at Matheson Men's Wear!
In 1903, when John Diefenbaker was about 8 years old, the Diefenbaker family moved to northern Saskatchewan near Fort Carlton, then in the Northwest Territories.
From there, history was made, of course.
After John obtained 3 degrees from the University of Saskatchewan, he eventually entered politics and became Prime Minister from 1957 to 1963.
We assume John liked to dress well and being a good Saskatchewan man, Ted Matheson Men’s Wear was the place to shop. My grandfather kept this chit from a purchase made by Diefenbaker in 1941.
For our family, it’s an interesting historical tidbit.
And, by the dapper look of Mr. Diefenbaker in the photo below, it may very well be Matheson Men’s Wear suit he has on!