Madison Street business celebrates a legacy

Larry Horstdaniel gets to work cutting longtime customer James Weber’s hair Friday. Horstdaniel, 85, will celebrate 60 years in business today. Weber said he has been coming to Larry’s Barber Shop for as long as he can remember.

Larry Horstdaniel gets to work cutting longtime customer James Weber’s hair Friday. Horstdaniel, 85, will celebrate 60 years in business today. Weber said he has been coming to Larry’s Barber Shop for as long as he can remember. Photo by Jessica Duren.

Larry’s Barber Shop is beginning its 60th year in business today. Larry Horstdaniel, the man behind the shop’s name, has been a staple in the downtown Jefferson City community, and says he plans to stick around for many more years.

The 85-year-old said he’ll continue to cut, shave and trim as long as he has good health.

“I can’t give it up,” he said.

With many regular customers, Horstdaniel said he doesn’t have time for retirement. He noted that Jefferson City had 36 barbers when he first opened his shop, and now there are about 10, he said. “And the city has grown considerably since then.”

With the signature spinning red, white and blue barber pole out front, Horstdaniel continues to do what he does best. He enjoys giving his customers a hard time, as they dish it right back in the 224 Madison St. location.

“The only two things I know how to do are cut hair and cut grass,” he joked.

While talking with a customer about his business anniversary, Horstdaniel said he didn’t know he’d be cutting hair for 60 years.

“I still have guys that have been with me since the beginning, so I must be doing something right,” he said.

Many things have changed since he began his barbershop career, one of them being the price he charges for a haircut. His fee now is $10. Sixty years ago, he charged $1.

“It hasn’t increased that much,” he said, noting that a loaf of bread at that time cost 10 cents, and a gallon of gas was just 21 cents.

Horstdaniel noted other changes, like being governed by the cosmetology board instead of the barber board, and the trouble he’s had when sharing his considerably low barber licensing number. He’s had to repeat the number often, finally saying “four zeros, then 36.”

Although the downtown has become alive with festivals and weekend entertainment, the local barber said shutting down the streets does hurt his business.

Know of any business happenings around town? Let us know at bizbeat@newstribune.com.

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