Sunday, January 29, 2023

Top Headlines: Neilson’s Celebrates 177 Years of History, Fashion and Noteworthy Window Design

It is difficult to take a stroll around the Oxford square without at least once noticing Neilson’s open, creatively designed window displays. If you take a closer look, you may even notice the emblazoned letters “Established 1839.”

1839 is the year it all began for the J.E. Neilson Company. It is hard to believe that such a relic of the square began nearly 177 years ago. This popular storefront has witnessed many changes in Oxford, including quite a few historical events. The ownership of the family business has switched hands a few times, but has centrally remained either with family or close family friends to the business.

If not the history, the displays certainly speak for themselves. Amanda Lewis Hyneman, the daughter of owner Will Lewis, Sr. said, “Mainly we get our inspiration [for the displays] from what’s going on around town. You know, if it’s football season, we tie it into football, if it’s baseball, we tie it into baseball, and of course the holidays. If there’s anything special going on in Oxford or Lafayette county, we try to tie it back into that, like Double Decker for instance.”

Anne Fairley Smith, one of Neilson’s sales associates, said, “I think that Neilson’s being opened for 177 years is a testament for how people continually look to Neilson’s for what’s in style. I remember in the ’70s as a little girl wanting to come through and shopping at Neilson’s when I’d go with my parents to the Grove, so I could see what’s in the windows so I could be in style when I went home.”

For more information on the window displays at Neilson’s and to check out some of the history, check out the video:


You can really grasp the depth of the rich history behind Neilson’s in the back of the store through the historical photographs. Here are a few that were captured.

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Samantha Mitchell is a staff writer for and can be reached at

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