Linz Brothers
Finlay Enterprises
Founded : 1877
Activities : Retailing fine jewelry and operating leased fine jewelry department stores
Parent Company : Finlay Enterprises
Stockists : NA locations
Origin : Dallas, TX

Linz Brothers, a jewelry firm, grew from the efforts of five brothers. Joseph and Elias Linz of St. Louis opened the firm of Joseph Linz and Brother in Denison in October 1877. Joseph had followed the railroad to Denison in the 1870s, when he worked as a watchmaker and repaired watches for the conductors on the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railroad. Simon, the second oldest Linz brother, joined the Denison store, and two years later they moved to Sherman.  In 1877, Joseph Linz left his home in St. Louis and arrived in Denison. Texas, where he went out to rich ranchers” homes and sold them diamonds.

In 1882 Ben Linz joined the firm. When Elias died in 1883, his interest in the partnership was taken by Simon. In 1884 Albert Linz joined the firm and in 1890 became a partner. Ben became a partner in 1897. In 1891 the firm moved to Dallas, taking quarters in the old Thomas Building in the 1300 block of Main Street. Then in 1895 it moved to the Cockrell Building, and in 1899 to the seven-story Linz Building. Joseph and Simon directed operations in the retail unit, Ben managed the wholesale department, and Albert pioneered a traveling sales division that did quite well during the Great Depression.

Joseph Linz retired in 1907, and the firm’s name was changed to Linz Brothers. The partnership was incorporated in 1922. Simon became president and in 1924 established the Linz Award, given annually to the Dallas County citizen whose efforts during the year “bestowed the greatest benefits to the Dallas community.” While president of Linz, Simon also established the Linz Pin, given annually to every high school student in Dallas with a grade average of ninety or above. Simon Linz married Beccie Epstein of St. Louis, Missouri, in 1889. They had two children: Clifton Meier Linz, who later became president of Linz Jewelers; and Bernice, who married Asher M. Kahn of Gainesville, Texas, who also later became president of Linz Jewelers. The Gordon brothers of Houston (see GORDON JEWELRY) purchased Linz Brothers in the 1980s. Gordon’s in turn was purchased by Zale Jewelryqv in 1989.  In the early 1990s four stores were operating in Dallas under the Linz Brothers logo.

Bailey Banks & Biddle was formerly owned by Zale corporation. They compete with other high-end retailers such as Tiffany and independent jewelry stores. The name “Zell Bros” is used for one location. The stores tend to carry many high-end designer lines, including Scott Kay, Tacori, Ritani, Mikimoto, and David Yurman. Stores use the slogan “Where Treasures Live”. There were 72 Bailey Banks and Biddle locations as of May 22, 2007. 15 Texas locations branded as “Corrigan’s” and “Sweeney’s” were transferred to the Bailey Banks & Biddle nameplate when Zale decided to make the chain national.

Source:  Dallas Morning News, August 28, October 1, 1935. Natalie Ornish, Pioneer Jewish Texans (Dallas: Texas Heritage, 1989).