Family Effort Fuels 6 Decades of Growth
Success Built Around Quick Customer Service
Leslie Tietsort Jr. was driving a milk route in May 1954, when he sold an old Plymouth for $500 to make a down payment on a small firm called Harbor Glass at NE 8th St. and Walnut Ave.
His wife Bettie joined him in the tiny one-room shop, which had enough room for a cutting table and a desk. His father, who was known as “Red” Tietsort, was a skilled auto glass specialist. He worked without pay for six months as their first employee.
“Everything went back into the business, except for enough to buy groceries and the bare necessities. We could never have made it without Red. He was an experienced glass man and was known all over the city.”
That was the beginning of City Glass, a family firm that is currenlty located in the 14,600-square-foot former Bob Moore auto body shop at 821 NW 5th St. It’s the “biggest, prettiest and best” shop among firms specializing in replacement glass of all kinds in Oklahoma City, said Bettie, but it’s just one result of a remarkable family effort exerted for nearly four decades.
Mark, the oldest son who also worked with his parents, eventually took over the firm’s Tulsa shop, which was started in 1988. This shop was later closed as left the glass business to pursue another career choice.
Steven, the second son who also worked with his parents, once operated the family’s Sooner Glass shop in Norman, but he left the glass business and moved to California. The Norman shop was closed in 1983.
In addition, the Tietsorts helped start the City Glass Company shop on 4116 N May Ave., which was operated by their old partner, Harry Townsend. He was one of the first employees when City Glass was starting to grow in the 1950's."
The essence of the family’s success has always been the same; taking care of customers with quick service.
Time Line of City Glass Company
Leslie & Bettie purchased the business of Harbour Glass Co. located at 824 N. Walnut. This only consisted of two rooms. The pattern room was approximately 16 x 24, and the other room was 24 x 30.
They had the opportunity to purchase the property at 911 N. Walnut. One office was about 12 x 20 and the other 20 x 40. At a later date they built onto the back a 24 x 40 room that would hold at least two cars.
Leslie and Harry Townsend became partners in another City Glass Co. at 4116 N. May.
We purchased Automotive Glass Co. at 717 NW 6th from George Kerfoot and Earl Mounts. We left the name the same and operated as a wholesale shop only.
City Glass Company moved from 823 N. Harvey street to a new location at 717 N. W. 6th. It was operating as Automotive Glass Co. and changed the name to City Glass Company. The building was 60 x 100 with an upstairs and later we made it a three story building.