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Young again: New owner for staple Valentine, Nebraska western store

Yvonne Hollenbeck
for Tri-State Livestock News
Pictured at the ribbon cutting are from L to R: Dean Jacobs, Zach Dean, Deanne Holmes Monroe, Chris Elliott, Margot Orr, Shannon Martin, Missy Weber, Reece Weber, Rick Weber, Suzie Harms, Lori Centa, Karen Bice, Sam Leonard, Sheila Young, Mike Young, Mary Young, and Chris Hernstrom. Photo by Susan Cable
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While we frequently hear about the dissolution of corporations and the closing of business, large and small, it is a pleasure to hear success stories, especially in small-town America. Positive and exciting news is exactly what folks in the tri-state area received with the news that one of the most popular business in a vast area, namely “Young’s Western Wear” of Valentine, Nebraska, has sold to a young entrepreneur, 23 year old, Reece Weber.

Reece is the son of Rick and Missy Weber, area ranchers and successful business owners who, along with Reece, operate an outstanding quarter horse program in the Valentine area. The Webers are not new to the area nor are they new to the western way of life. The addition of this western store is a perfect fit, both for the Webers and for the community.

Young’s Western Wear store front. Photo courtesy Reece Weber
Young’s Western Wear store front. Photo courtesy Reece Weber

Reece Weber is not the first young man to be in the western wear business. In 1928, at the age of 19, Curt Young came to Valentine to work for Ralph Brosius in the shoe repair business, and at the tender age of 25, Curt had the opportunity to buy his own shop from an estate, and the rest is history. Successfully building his business, Curt’s son, Cork Young returned from a stint in the Air Force, married his sweetheart, Mary Engel, and joined his father in the business in 1954. Constantly expanding the business, the store, now 81 years later, encompasses over 20,000 square feed and consumes a good half-block of Valentine’s historic Main Street. The business has seen considerable growth through the years, both in size as well as inventory and services provided. The shoe and saddle repair business has always remained an important part of the business since its beginning and is housed in the basement portion of the store.

Curt Young died in 1970 and his son, Cork, with Mary working by his side, continued to operate the business. Cork died in 2007 and his son, Mike, has ably helped his mother operate the business, along with a host of knowledgeable and friendly employees.

The name, “Young’s Western Wear” will continue to be displayed on the store front and the business will continue to provide a vast inventory of good quality, basic ranch wear, tack and supplies; a large boot inventory; giftware and all types of outdoor clothing; plus the continuation of the boot, shoe and saddle repair business. Weber plans to expand the inventory to include western bedding and western household essentials. Reece said, “We plan to add a considerable amount more of women’s apparel, including plus sizes, because beautiful women come in all shapes and sizes!”

Young’s Western Wear in Valentine has been and will continue to be a one-stop shop for all things western.

Reece Weber recently bought the well known Nebrasksa outfitter, Young’s Western Wear. Photo courtesy Reece Weber
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