BURROWS, a leading book, stationery, and office-supply firm in Ohio, was founded by Chas. W. and Harris B. Burrows, who opened the Burrows Bros. book and stationery store at 310 EUCLID AVE. 8 Nov. 1873. Within a year it was almost bankrupt when Chas. Burrows introduced a circulating library—a move which proved to be both popular and profitable by 1875. By 1883 the firm had obtained larger quarters at 324-328 Euclid Ave. and expanded into the publishing and wholesale business. As publishers they were active from 1883 to 1912, and their most successful imprint was The Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents (1896). Burrows Bros. incorporated in 1886 and 2 year later acquired its major competitor, COBB, ANDREWS & CO. The company had about 200 employees when it moved to 633-635 Euclid Ave. at E. 6th St. in 1897.
By 1912 the Burrows brothers had sold the retail operation to Jas. Robinson and John J. Wood, and by 1918, the firm was in receivership. When new interests bought the company in 1919, business revived, and General Manager Gordon B. Bingham began establishing branch stores in 1922. Nine had been opened by World War II. After Burrows Bros. was sold to a group headed by Howard Klein in 1944, the name was shortened to Burrows, and the new owners moved its downtown store to 419 Euclid Ave.; added more suburban branches; and enlarged its product line. The Higbee Co. acquired Burrows in 1969 but was forced to sell it 4 years later because of a federal antitrust suit. Between 1975 and 1979, the new owners, headed by John J. Malloy, moved the Burrows flagship store to 601 Euclid Ave. and rapidly expanded the company from 15 stores with $7 million in sales to 45 stores, 36 of them in Cleveland, with $18 million in sales. In 1982 Burrows was purchased by Bro-Dart Industries, Inc. (BDI Investment, Inc.). In 1988 the chain resumed the original Burrows Bros. name and remodeled the stores in the image of its early operation. At that time Burrows had 19 stores in Cuyahoga County, a main office at 100 Hayes Dr., and employed 250 people. By 1993 all Burrows facilities were closed in greater Cleveland.