Miss  Cecilia  Bogeman

The  Shelbyville  Republican
Monday October 13, 1947
Page 2 column 2
            Back in the days when Miss Cecilia Bogeman began her career in millinery, women and girls wanted to learn the trade first were required to serve at least two seasons as apprentices.  They were paid nothing for their efforts but did receive two new hats a year - one in the Spring and one in the Fall when the apprentice season ended.
            But Miss Bogeman, who muses, “Wonder how many girls would do that now days?” was somewhat luckier than most.  She was paid 50 cents a week when, at the age of 14 years, she began learning the trade at the  Flora Carson  store which was located on the Public Square where the Firestone establishment now stands and at the Schaffer store which was on the site of the present Bryant-Roth store.
            Hats were hand made in those days and each millinery shop had its work room with a “maker,” as designers were termed, trimmer and the apprentices who learned to mould hats on frames, drape materials and arrange the much pinned and flowered chapeaux of other years.  Miss Bogeman or “Celia” as she is known to hundreds of Shelbyville and Shelby county women, recalls that although styles have changed dozens of times through the years, materials are much the same-straw, ribbon and flowers for Spring and Summer and felt, velvet, velour and beaver felt for Fall and Winter.  Incidentally, velour and beaver are imported and just now making their appearance after being missing from the scene during the war years.
            After working at the two local stores, she served two seasons in Union City and another two in Detroit.  After this she “came home” to establish her own shop and for a year was located in a room on East Broadway which formerly had been occupied by the late  Dr. Sammons.  She moved to her present location in 1912 where many of her customers have returned year after year.
            Hats in 1912 averaged around $3.50 in price with a really “good” one costing about $7.00.  Of course there were more expensive numbers since plumes were much in vogue and customers paid as much as $20 for a feathery furbelow which no doubt had graced an ostrich.  It wasn’t until World War I that women began demanding less expensive hats (Wonder what those women would think of today’s inflated prices!) in order to have more of them, and mass production was begun.  There wasn’t much individuality to the models however and milliners did a healthy business in trimming.  Now, although there are numerous styles from which to choose, the trend again seems to lean toward having hats made to order and Miss Bogeman, and her two helpers,  Miss Hazel Lee  and  Mrs. Carried Reinbold,  are busy a great part of the time making or retrimming hats.
            Pictures in trade magazines “Celia” has saved show some startling numbers which we women have worn from time to time but closer scrutiny reveals that, fundamentally, the hats aren’t so much different but that the manner in which they’re worn is!  For example, some of the head coverings worn in 1923, although deeper in crown, might be donned today, only far back on the head instead of hugging the eyebrows almost to the point of covering the nose.  Miss Bogeman laughs that women probably had to wear them far down then in order to keep them on-since hair bobbing was just getting into full swing.
            One line that has passed from the scene in millinery shops is that of mourning veils.  In her shop Celia used to carry a full stock of those to drape on the hats of bereaved women but the custom has been almost dropped with the years.
            Many women year after year say, when the urge to buy a hat strikes them, “Guess I’ll go down and see what Celia has!”  That’s probably because “Celia” believes in the “right hat for the right woman” and selling models which are individually becoming.  The problem of selling duplications in a town the size of Shelbyville isn’t as great as you’d expect and she says, although not long ago she did utter to a customer, “Oh, you shouldn’t buy THAT hat, I sold one like it to a friend of yours who sits near you in church!”  The people with whom she gets a little irked are the ones who rush in and ask her to make or retrim a hat within a few hours.  “They don’t realize the time and work it takes to make a hat frame, fit it and do the trimming,” she says.
            Miss Bogeman was born in this county and went to the McFall school before her parents, the late John and Anna Bogeman, moved to Shelbyville in 1896.  She then attended the St. Joseph school.  Before her brother-in-law and sister, Mr. and Mrs. John Ford, moved from the family home at 324 East Washington Street, she often used to stay downtown for lunch and dinner and work at the shop at nights.  (“You don’t consider it work if you like your job,” she says).  But now that full responsibility of the household is hers she finds her time pretty much occupied-and then too, there is a little pet dog that demands to be fed. So now she goes home for lunch and dinner.
Contributed by Barb Huff

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