Historically, Mississippians purchased a lot of Mesker products, ranking the state as the 12th largest overall buyer with a combined estimate of approximately 1,356 facades. (Darius Bryjka, November 25, 2014)
Natchez leads the state with the most surviving Mesker Brothers storefronts, at 14, followed by Yazoo City with 10 and Canton with 8 (Bryjka). Others are scattered across Mississippi. In 1885, the Weekly Democrat ran an item that Charles B. Boyle and William J. Hogan planned to open a dry goods store in Natchez. It was located at 425 Main Street, although they quickly outgrew the space. By May 5, 1888, the Weekly Democrat reported:
…of greater interest to the ladies is when Messrs. Hogan & Boyle are able to get into their handsome new store.
The handsome new store opened October 24, 1888. The architect and builder was Wm. K. Ketteringham, painting was done by M. G. Duerow, paint by F. A. Dicks, and finishing of ceilings and walls was by R. Scudamore.
This building has a very substantial and attractive front…elaborately finished in granite, the heavy cornices and columns being polished polished Scotch granite. The large entrance is paved with encaustic tiling, the latest thing for such purposes, which adds greatly to the appearance of the front, and increases the imposing effect of the spacious show windows on either side. Special attention has been given to securing the utmost possible amount of light inside the building. The show windows are as wide and high as possible.
Hogan was one of the stockholders in the Arlington Land Company which purchased the former “Arlington” estate to create ” the beautiful suburban addition Arlington Heights” (Weekly Democrat, July 13, 1889, p. 5). Hogan planned to construct a home there, which was eventually built at 504 Union street. Two years later, Hogan married Miss Burdetta Rayfield in Mapesville, Virginia. Miss Rayfield had previously worked in the millinery department at Hogan & Boyle.
An item in 1892 advertised the store as the W. J. Hogan Company, and apparently, Hogan ordered a new insert for the Mesker to identify his status as the sole owner (The National Corporation Reporter, March 12, 1892-September 3, 1892). July 30, 1899, Joseph Hagedorn announced he would open September 15 in the Hogan Building, operating as the Trade Palace.