Employees work on customers’ clothes on Tuesday, March 2, 2021 at Horstman’s Cleaners & Furriers in Carbondale, Ill. (Subash Kharel | @pics.leaks)
Employees work on customers’ clothes on Tuesday, March 2, 2021 at Horstman’s Cleaners & Furriers in Carbondale, Ill.

Subash Kharel | @pics.leaks

Horstman’s, Carbondale’s last dry cleaner

March 11, 2021

There are many businesses in Carbondale, Illinois, that several generations will remember. One of these businesses is Horstman’s Cleaners and Furriers, the last dry cleaner operating in Carbondale, owned by Jon Kirk. 

James Allen and Chris Bishop

Opened in 1925, Horstman’s has operated in Carbondale for nearly a century. Betty Kiefer, has been an employee for much of that time. Kiefer is almost 92, and has worked at Horstman’s since she was 18, making her an employee for 74 years.

“It’s quite remarkable, she’s wonderful and been here that long, she knows most of our customer’s names; she’s a true pleasure to be with,” Kirk described, what it’s like to work with Kiefer.


As for Kirk, his family came into ownership of the business in 1965 and Kirk himself has been running Horstman’s since 1995.

A unique characteristic of Horstman’s, is the amount of time they keep clothes that customers have left behind. “We keep them for several years, and then we eventually donate them to a church or something like that. We always try to call people, if we have their phone number, to let them know they have something available,” Kirk said.

Kiefer believes that Horstman’s is a pillar in the Carbondale community, having been in the city for so long, garnering much of it’s business from Carbondale itself but also from many of the neighboring communities.

Staff photographer Chris Bishop can be reached at [email protected], or on Instagram at @quippedmediallc.

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  • R

    Richard Neal BeyMar 12, 2021 at 7:10 am

    I love their service and will hold your clothing for a very long time!

  • C

    CarolMar 11, 2021 at 9:29 pm

    U go mike and zac!I wouldn’t want to anymore

  • A

    Alice TraversMar 11, 2021 at 9:11 pm

    Not only is Betty delightful, she’s beautiful. In fact the first time I met used Horstman’s, the first thing I said…”You are so beautiful!!!”