At CENTRAL KEY & SAFE CO., our family's dedication to protecting Wichita's homes, businesses, and vehicles has spanned over 100 years. Our grandfather, Lauren H. Webb joined the army and served in France in the American Expeditionary Force during World War I. After he returned home to Wichita, he paid $600 for the Central Key & Safe in 1922. We’ve been a trusted name in security since those early 1920's, and we've evolved alongside the industry to offer cutting-edge locksmith services while maintaining our unwavering commitment to excellence. Discover the difference of a family-owned business that puts your safety and peace of mind first.
Central Key & Safe Founder - Lauren Hayward Webb
DISCOVER A LEGACY OF SECURITY
L.H. Webb paid $600 for the Central Key & Safe Company. in 1922. The shop had been a thriving Wichita business at the northwest corner of Second and Market Streets since 1903, and Webb operated his business at the location until his heath in 1946. At that time, ownership passed to his four daughters, Norma Keller, Dorothy Sydnor, Ruby Trice & Margaret Phelps.
The new owners built their present shop at 305 North Market in 1953. Although the company was incorporated in 1967, it is still family owned.
Much has changed though. In the early days, Central Key & Safe sold sporting goods, repaired fishing tackle, restrung tennis racquets, put new tires on tricycles and traded in umbrella repair. One of Margaret Phelps' (who has been the most active sister in the management of the business) favorite memories is the sample book of gorgeous silks from which customers could select coverings for their umbrellas.
In the 30s, Central Key & Safe would be kept especially busy after a "safe gang," a tightly organized group of professional thieves, would pass through the area. Now safes are more secure, and the shop has specialized in security systems - the sporting goods department went with the arrival of discount stores. With three service trucks, Central Key & Safe makes repair calls on safes all over Kansas.
As might be expected, a security-related business is not without its excitement. Central Key & Safe has been called to help a car owner who had somehow locked himself in the trunk. Employees have found themselves trapped between rival parties in a divorce, one calling for a change in the locks and the other angrily demanding a set of keys. On one occasion, Central Key & Safe repairmen were hauling a safe back to the shop for repair when the tear gas vial protecting the safe broke in the middle of a Wichita intersection. Naturally, they abandoned the truck.
Now, with the advent of the Information Age, a shop which once sharpened ice skates offers computer safes.