Major's Department Store first opened on Main Street in Hazard in 1912 and was run by three brothers - Herman, Max, and Joe Mazer. The Mazers changed the spelling of their name because their store was truly a top-ranking major store. Before coming to Hazard, the Mazers came from Cincinnati to Middlesboro where they had a store. Max Mazer came to Hazard as a pack peddler and found it such good pickens he returned to Middlesboro and told his brothers that he had found a money tree loaded with black gold. So Uncle Joe, on Max’s advice, came to see for himself. Like Joseph Smith when he was leading the Mormons and came to Salt Lake, Uncle Joe implanted his staff (his cane) and said this is the place. Here I raise my Ebenezer and that has been true, it has really been a monument to the fine Mazer family for nearly 60 years.
Joseph (Uncle Joe) brought his relatives, Herman, Dave, Al Ethel, Uncle John and Morris, to Hazard. Herman had an attractive and lovable wife, “Miss Bea.” She had a radiant personality and presided with dignity and calmness (it was needed). Herman was liked by the men and was said to be a wonderful card player.
The Mazers were good citizens. Hazard was made a better place in which to live by their coming. They did not harvest their wealth but invested their earnings in homes and rental property. They had property on High Street, Broadway and the Backwoods.
They operated the store together until 1929, when Max Mazer sold out to his nephew Morris Mazer. Max went on to establish Miner's Store, which was operated by his wife and daughter. In July, 1946, the Mazers sold their interest to Arnold and Irving Glick of Cleveland, Ohio. The Glick brothers operated department stores in Cleveland for decades. At the time of the purchase of Major's Irving Glick came to Hazard to manage the store. Under Mr. Glick's direction, Major's Store was completely modernized and many new customer services were added. In October, 1949, Mr. Glick brought Carl A. Weiss to Hazard to take over the management of Major's. Mr. Weiss had previously been manager of Glick Brother's Store in Cleveland
Morris Mazer was a good worker and level headed. Al and Dave later had their own stores. Herman and Miss Bea had a lovely daughter, Roside, who later married Dr. Rosenbalm. They moved to Birmingham.
Al Mazer and wife Mollie moved to Falmouth, Kentucky. Morris married an attractive small girl named Jean and had a very very small little cute son named Ralph. Ralph eventually opened up a business in Cincinnati.
“Uncle Joe” was a reticent man, very hard to talk to and had a terrible temper. He carried a heavy cane with a steel thimble on the end. Hazel Noble Strong, Arnett Strong’s mother, was working shoes and had them out of the shelves and stacked high when Uncle Joe came by and with his cane knocked them over, scattering loose shoes everywhere. He said, “Picketty Up.” Hazel responded, “Picketty Up yourself. I quit.”