A question that is often asked by visitors who come to the J.C. Penney Home is, “Do any of Mr. Penney’s family ever come to Kemmerer?”
I was fortunate enough to be working the day that Leigh Guyer, Mr. Penney’s grandson, and James Cash Guyer, Mr. Penney’s great-grandson, came in for a visit.
The last time Leigh came to Kemmerer was with his grandmother Caroline Penney, the third wife of J. C. Penney, in June of 1982. That year there was a celebration — with an appearance by former governor Ed Herschler — to dedicate the J.C. Penney Home and establish it as a historical landmark.
On April 14, 1902, James Cash Penney and his partners Thomas Callahan and Guy Johnson opened the one-room Golden Rule Store in Kemmerer. Penney would go on to rename the store after himself and build a department store empire. Penney’s homestead in Kemmerer was repaired and renovated in August of 2017.