Introduced to the dry cleaning industry in 1913, J.H. Barrow, then an eager young man, worked as a dry cleaner’s apprentice in Dallas, Texas. There he learned the “art” of fine dry cleaning, which also encompassed the care of leathers, furs, and fabric dyeing.
As his career in dry cleaning progressed, J.H. became the manager of the Laundry Department at the College of Industrial Arts, which later became Texas Woman’s University. He maintained that position for 17 years.
In 1930 J.H. Barrow built and opened Vogue Cleaners & Dyers located at 721 North Locust Street. The following 20 years he operated a thriving business that even offered “car-hop” service on Friday and Saturday nights, staying open until nine and ten o’clock. Everyone took his or her best clothes and worst stains to J.H., as he was an expert cleaner. During World War II, in a special effort to please his customers, he would dye ladies stocking to match their skin tone because availability was scarce and colors were limited.
Desiring to spend more time with his family, J.H. Barrow sold Vogue Cleaners & Dyers and built Zenith Dry Cleaners which opened for business in 1951 at its present day location, 511 Fort Worth Dr., which was then on the outskirt of Denton. There, business was built through serving daily commuters who traveled to and from the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Needless to say, Denton’s boundaries have grown well past Zenith today.
In 1970, son J.H. Barrow Jr., better known as Jim or Jimmy to friend’s and customers, joined the dry cleaning industry with his father. Dry Cleaning came naturally to him, having grown up in the business since he was a toddler. Since 1980, when J.H. Barrow Sr. retired, Jim and his wife Gayla have carried on the tradition of quality workmanship and excellent customer service.
Their children, son Justin and daughter Robyn are active in the cleaning industry as third generation dry cleaners. Both are graduates from the University of North Texas and have studied at the International Fabricare Institute.