Shudde Bros. is one of Houston’s oldest businesses. The Shudde family moved to Houston in 1901 from Carmine (pronounced “Karmeen”), Texas. Al Shudde founded the store as a teenager, in 1907, as the “Shudde Southern Hat Company”. Al’s brothers Ben, Walter, John, and Herbert were ultimately also involved in the business. The company was passed on to Al’s son, Weldon, and to Weldon’s son, Neal, who runs the business today. Customers of Shudde Bros have included John Wayne, Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, Tom Mix, Ernest Tubb, and Dr. “Red” Duke.
[1936 – U.T. Center for American History]
While Shudde Bros. once had a large shop on Main Street (in can be seen on the far left of the above postcard), they are now located on Trinity Street, in the historic part of the Sixth Ward known as the “Old Sixth Ward”. In 1914, the brothers built a factory building next door to the original Shudde homestead on Trinity. Since then, the factory has been in continuous operation at that location. The homestead is now part of the store and factory.
Shudde Bros. website
Kaplan, D., “Businesses keep success in hand by keeping them in the family,” Houston Chronicle, Jan. 6, 2002.
Update: From the sign they have posted on their store, it looks like Shudde Bros. may be leaving town.