Marty Leonard: Preserving the Treasures of a Fort Worth Landmark

Leonard’s Museum Finds Permanent Home

Once a beloved anchor of downtown Fort Worth, Leonard’s Department Store offered a unique shopping experience to all who visited. Founded in 1918 by brothers Marvin, and Obie Leonard, the store “sold everything to everybody,” making it a local retail giant until 1974.

For the Leonard family, it wasn’t just about making a sale. It was about serving the community. Today, the store’s legacy lives on through the Leonard’s Museum. Thanks to the efforts of Marty Leonard, daughter of Marvin, and Lauren Leonard, granddaughter of Obie, the museum features over 2,000 artifacts, including the “Howdy Neighbor” box sent to Fort Worth newcomers, the original store directory, and a railcar from the original M&O Subway. As one museum visitor who was moved by the memories resurfacing told Marty, “The museum has just about everything except a box of tissues.”

The collection recently relocated from the family-run museum to its forever home at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History. The new location will enable the Museum’s tens of thousands of annual visitors to appreciate the impact of Leonard’s business and civic leadership on Fort Worth’s history.

NTCF was honored to work alongside Marty to create a sustainable and permanent home for the Collection. The Leonard’s Museum Collection Endowment Fund at North Texas Community Foundation will provide perpetual support for the collection and preserve the Leonard’s story.

“North Texas Community Foundation has been a true partner in helping provide the future of the Leonard’s Museum for years to come by giving it a permanent home in the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History.” — Marty Leonard


Have Questions? Let's Chat.

Together, we can cultivate a more vibrant and resilient community where all North Texans can thrive.