Skip to main content

Rich's, Inc. records

Collection number: ahc.MSS1245

Scope and Contents

This collection contains records of the downtown Atlanta flagship store and retail stores throughout the Southeastern United States. Included in the collection are annual reports, biographical materials of founding members and executives, business history, employee publications, employee training materials, lists of officers and directors, newspaper clippings, publicity materials, and scrapbooks, as well as materials on store openings and expansions, promotions, and special events.

The collection also contains documents from Atlanta community aid groups to which Rich’s, Inc. executives (Walter H. Rich, Frank H. Neely, and Richard H. Rich) belonged. Organizations include Atlanta Community Chest, Atlanta Community Fund, Atlanta Better Business Commission, and the President's Emergency Committee for Employment. Frank H. Neely served as Chairman of the Atlanta Better Business Commission and President of the Atlanta Community Chest. Richard H. Rich served as a member of the Board of Trustees and later as General Chairman of the Atlanta Community Fund. Documents consist of correspondence, memoranda, research and publicity materials, and meeting minutes.


  • 1877-1988, undated


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. All requests to publish, quote, or reproduce must be submitted through the Kenan Research Center.

Biographical / Historical

In 1867, Hungarian Jewish immigrant Mauritius Reich (1847-1928) borrowed $500 from his brother, William (1842-1917), and opened a small retail dry goods store called M. Rich & Co. on Whitehall Street in Atlanta, Georgia. Mauritius Reich's (name anglicized to Morris Rich) brothers Daniel (1844-1920) and Emanuel (1849-1897) joined the business whereupon the name was changed to M. Rich & Bros. As the business continued to grow, it moved to larger buildings on Whitehall Street, and in 1924 to Broad and Alabama streets. This location was the longtime flagship store and became a well-known landmark in downtown Atlanta. In 1929 M. Rich & Bros. Co. became Rich's, Inc.

Emanuel Rich's son Walter H. Rich (1880-1947) succeeded his uncle Morris Rich as the second president of Rich's, Inc. from 1926 to 1947. During his presidency, the Rich Foundation was formed in 1942 to distribute large shares of Rich's, Inc. profits within the community. Frank H. Neely (1884-1979), a mechanical engineering graduate from Georgia Institute of Technology, was hired as general manager and secretary in 1924 and by 1947 became Rich's Inc.'s third president. Neely was appointed chairman of the board in 1949. The grandson of Morris Rich, Richard Rosenheim (1901-1975), was elected the fourth president of Rich's, Inc. in 1949. Rosenheim changed his name to Rich in 1923. Under Rich’s leadership, Rich’s Inc. underwent a major expansion in the 1950s that included the first branch location at Lenox Square. In 1961, Richard H. Rich became chairman of the board of Rich's, Inc. and Harold Brockey became its fifth president. Growth continued throughout the 1960s and 1970s as more stores opened around the Southeastern United States. Joel Goldberg (1925-2010) was appointed Rich's Inc. president in 1972.

In 1976, Federated Department Stores acquired Rich’s, Inc., ending over 100 years of ownership by the Rich family. The downtown Atlanta flagship store closed in 1991. Federated Department Stores merged with R. H. Macy and Company in 1994 adopting the name Rich’s-Macy’s, and by 2005 the Rich’s name was removed.


18.67 linear ft. (27 document cases, five oversize boxes, one oversize folder, and one record album)




This collection is arranged alphabetically by titles supplied by staff.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Audio recordings were made on 78 rpm disks and can be made accessible only through conversion to digital surrogates. Patrons who request access to the audio content in this collection are responsible for digital conversion costs.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, 1967, with subsequent additions

Related Materials

Visual materials have been separated from the collection. Please contact an archivist for access to these materials.

Bias in Description

As archivists, we acknowledge our role as stewards of information. We choose how individuals and organizations are represented and described in our archives. We are not neutral, and bias is reflected in our descriptions, which may not accurately convey the racist or offensive aspects of collection materials. Archivists make mistakes and might use poor judgment. In working with this collection, we often re-use language used by the former owners of the material. This language provides context but often includes bias and prejudices reflective of the time in which it was created. The Kenan Research Center’s work is ongoing to implement reparative language where Library of Congress subject terms are inaccurate and obsolete.

Kenan Research Center welcomes feedback and questions regarding our archival descriptions. If you encounter harmful, offensive, or insensitive terminology or descriptions, please let us know by emailing Your comments are essential to our work to create inclusive and thoughtful description.


This collection contains what was MSS 708.

Processing Information

Although a specific date has not been determined, this collection was originally processed in the 1990s as MSS 708, Rich's Department Store records. The collection was reprocessed in 2023 with subsequent additions.

Rich's, Inc. records
Ginny Van Winkle
February 2023
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Kenan Research Center at Atlanta History Center Repository

130 West Paces Ferry Road
Atlanta GA 30305