John Shillito is an extraordinary individual who has achieved great success in sports. He currently serves as Head Coach at Zeeland West High School and in his 15 years of coaching has won 4 state championships.
He has previously coached at Comstock Park, Muskegon Orchard View and East Kentwood as a wing-T coach and has had great success with this style of football.
Early Life and Education
Shillito was born in Greensburg, Pennsylvania in November 1808 and moved to Cincinnati at nine. At that time he began working at Blatchley & Simpson – a renowned merchandising firm in Cincinnati.
In 1830, he left the firm to form a partnership with William McLaughlin. For several years, they were successful in selling dry goods until McLaughlin’s departure.
After a brief stay on Fourth Street, John purchased property three blocks north of the city center and constructed an expansive store that required staff numbers in excess of 1,000. Designed by James W. McLaughlin, this grand structure featured an octagonal light well at its apex.
His company motto was “Truth Always – Facts Only,” and he earned a reputation as an honest businessman. Additionally, he became an active citizen in Cincinnati’s community.
John Shillito, born in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, moved to Cincinnati at nine years old and quickly secured employment with Blatchley & Simpson – Cincinnati’s premier merchandising firm – where he remained for thirteen years.
By 1832 he had formed a partnership with William McLaughlin to sell dry goods. They operated as McLaughlin & Shillito until McLaughlin’s departure in 1857.
In 1878 Shillito’s moved to a five-story landmark building designed by James McLaughlin at Seventh and Race. This successful store remained in operation for 21 years before McAlpin’s took over its former location.
Shillito’s was acquired in 1928 by F&R Lazarus & Company and transformed into an Art Deco facade designed by Potter Tyler Martin in 1937. In 1982, the Shillito nameplate was removed and the store became Lazarus; five years later it was renamed Macy’s.
Achievements and Honors
Shillito not only built Cincinnati’s first department store, but he was an ardent philanthropist as well. He generously supported local institutions such as Music Hall, College of Music, and Exposition Buildings alike.
John Shillito was born in Greensburg, Pennsylvania in 1808 and moved to Cincinnati at the age of nine in 1817. Upon arrival in Cincinnati he quickly secured employment with merchants Blatchley & Simpson.
Two years later, in 1837, John Shillito opened the city’s first department store – Shillito & McLughlin. At its height, this storehouse of goods was one of Cincinnati’s biggest and best-stocked shops. Today it stands as a landmark and remains one of its oldest retail establishments.
John Shillito was a loving husband, father and grandfather. He took pleasure in spending time with family and friends and always led with his heart.
In 1837, he opened his dry goods business on Fourth Street. Two years later (1857), he purchased property on the other side of town and constructed a grand retail palace that would remain his store for 21 years.
Shillito’s was then the largest department store west of New York City and moved his store to Seventh Street in 1878 in order to construct a more modern facility.
John Shillito was an exemplary Cincinnati philanthropist, contributing generously to many of the town’s public buildings. His name will always be associated with Shillito’s Department Store and all of the businesses it helped nurture.
John Shillito’s net worth is estimated to be over one billion dollars. He founded Shillito Department Store in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1817 but it wasn’t until 1830 that he partnered with William McLaughlin for a dry goods store that became one of Cincinnati’s most successful department stores. When John Lazarus bought the store in 1928, they began cleaning, expanding and improving it; keeping its name while building upon its reputation as an honest merchant – one reason why the business continues to thrive today.
He now resides in Pittsboro, North Carolina and is actively engaged in his community – particularly his home city of Cincinnati, where he has many friends. Additionally, he teaches for Duke University’s Learning in Retirement Program.