Brothers Charles Abel Buffum and Edwin Emery Buffum came to Long Beach, California,
in 1904 and co-founded The Mercantile Company, which they renamed Buffums’
Department Store in 1912. C.A. Buffum also served as mayor of Long Beach from
1921-1924, and he died in 1936; his brother, E.E. Buffum, died twenty years later.
It was under the leadership of C.A. Buffum’s son, Harry Buffum, that the company
expanded into Santa Ana with an additional store in 1950, later growing to become a
chain of sixteen department stores throughout Southern California. David Jones Ltd.,
an Australian retailer, acquired Buffums’ in 1974, and due to financial difficulties
Buffums’ closed its doors in 1991.