Bring Back Ball Stores

Bring Back Ball Stores

Ball Stores, an institution in downtown Muncie’s glory days of shopping, was a one-stop shop that employed countless Munsonians, and is missed by many more.

The Ball Brothers Corporation purchased the McNaughton building, on the southeast corner of Walnut and Charles St, and opened what was once Eastern Indiana’s largest department store. 

The store first opened its doors to the public on November 13, 1934, for a tour of the facilities, to which an estimated 50,000 patrons attended, and the doors officially opened the next day. The store boasted 6 floors of merchandise, claiming it contained the wares of 23 complete stores, and sold every item you could hope to buy. The location, after some remodeling prior to its opening, was described as lavishly decorated and a thing of beauty.

Ball Stores became a beloved fixture of Muncie, and was operated by members of the Ball family, and they began to expand, opening a furniture outlet downtown, acquiring the Collegienne Shop in the Village in 1968, a knick-knack store in the Rose Court, and a location in the Muncie Mall in 1978.

After the Muncie Mall opened, what was once a thriving shopping district downtown started to dwindle. One by one, Ball Stores’ locations closed, before, in 1990, Ball Stores was sold to Elder-Beerman after going into foreclosure. The McNaughton building was demolished in 1989, and the site is now home to the Munseetown Square building, which hosts DeFur Voran law firm

For a more detailed look into the history of Ball Stores, check out this article by Delaware County Historical Society board member and author, Chris Flook


Ball Stores photo gallery (photos from lost muncie and star press)

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