|Click here to see a 1970s Joshua Doore ad from YouTube. The Downriver Link: Joshua Doore had a location at Eureka & I-75 in Taylor; it was replaced in the late 1970s by John O. Laughlin Furniture, and then Gibraltar Trade Center. Robinson Furniture was the remnant of the original Joshua Doore company – which itself had originally been called Robinson Furniture – after it had moved from its Taylor location. Today’s Joshua Doore and this upcoming Robinson Furniture location are not related. |
Current-day Joshua Doore catalog. (All photo sources from Google)
|Harvey Leach was a latter-day furniture entrepreneur with his 1971 takeover of a small outlet, Robinson Furniture, whose name he would change to Joshua Doore. Commercials and radio spots for the new firm (an example of early advertising for Joshua Doore is at the link to the left), have become one of Downriver and Metro Detroit’s most endearing ad jingles: “You’ve Got An Uncle In The Furniture Business.”It located by the early 1970s in a prime area of real estate; the southwest side of Eureka & I-75 in Taylor, and remained there through the decade as one of two notable furniture warehouses Downriver; the other being Wickes Furniture at the corner of Pennsylvania and Fort Street in Riverview. By 1980, Joshua Doore vacated the Taylor location, and it would end up becoming the new site for Gibraltar Trade Center; it having relocated from its location on Woodruff Road in the city of Gibraltar.The stories by way of the firm names continue today, although they are now separate entities, and did not evolve today without much controversy in their backgrounds.Barely a year before the well-publicized disappearance of Teamsters leader Jimmy Hoffa, Harvey Leach suffered similiar circumstances at the probable hands of an area mob. His body was discovered March 16, 1974 — his wedding day — with his throat slashed, at the Congress building at Southfield Road & 13 Mile. Leach was reportedly on his way to a business meeting. Paralleling the Hoffa case, the Leach case continues unresolved, especially with the 2013 death of one of the key prime suspects, Mafia associate Leonard Schultz, aged 96. Additionally, circumstances behind the crime were similiar in that Hoffa’s probable assailants, as well as Leach’s, were friends. The Leach case is known as one of Oakland County’s most high-profile unsolved homicides of the twentieth century.|
According to informants, Leach tried to gain loans for a rapid expansion of Joshua Doore; one of his sources were Detroit Mafia chief Anthony “Tony Jack” Giacalone. He and Leach would begin to butt heads as their business partnership grew, and Leach’s business began losing money rapidly. A possible outright purchase of Joshua Doore by Giacalone was also falling through. The business meeting in which Leach went missing and ended up murdered involved Giacalone and Leonard Schultz.
The federal files tell of Giacalone calling the two executives and informing them to come to the meeting an hour late, Schultz telling his wife to leave their house and not come back until the late afternoon and Leach never showing.
Giacalone, the Detroit mob’s street boss for almost five decades and a man that was a suspect in dozens of gangland slayings, reportedly, got to the meeting late himself and told those in attendance, “Harvey won’t be able to make it.”
Leach’s body was found exactly an hour before he was scheduled to marry his fiancé, Beverly, who had reported him missing when he didn’t return from his meeting at Schultz’ house. His funeral attracted almost 1,000 mourners. In the wake of his passing, Joshua Doore went into bankruptcy and eventually was bought by another Giacalone associate and had its name changed back to Robinson Furniture.
Today, the names exist separately. A Robinson Furniture outlet opened in the Detroit area in 2010.