Photo courtesy Oklahoma Historical Society
Before Home Depot And Lowes, There Was Otasco. Short for “Oklahoma Tire and Supply Company,” it was the quintessential store for all your home and auto needs, selling everything from tires and lawn mowers to appliances and home furnishings.
Three Jewish Lithuanian immigrant brothers – Sam, Maurice and Herman Sanditen – established the store in 1918. The McCrory Corporation (who later owned TG&Y) bought the company in 1960. At its 50th anniversary in 1968, the Oklahoma-based chain had 455 stores in 12 states. By 1984, the firm’s employees bought 100 percent of the stock, creating what was then one of the largest employee-owned companies in the United States.
But times and shoppers changed, and OTASCO filed for bankruptcy in 1988. Today, only one OTASCO remains, located in the small Oklahoma town of Beaver.