Minden Press-Herald

Oct 02nd

Old stores and memories gone

Juanita Agan-1Recently, a lady who did not grow up in Minden, remarked that she appreciated me talking of old businesses that are gone, and their location.
And last week, a man who is almost my age stopped me and told me how much he likes to remember the old stores and the people who worked there. I do, too, and so I am continuing some more of my thoughts of what "was" and is now gone.

I passed by the metal building, almost like a warehouse, on Shepherd Street, just past the old Tractor place, and noticed the words "Hanes Body Shop" in faint letters across the front. Long ago, fifty or more years ago there was a nice young man, Archie Hanes, who put in the body shop there on Dennis Street.

He married Josephine Rogers (sister of Mrs. Tom Alley), and they were the parents of a baby daughter, Mary. My husband who was Parts Sales Manager at Andress Motors Company thought so much of this man.

He came by the Ford dealership often, buying parts for the repairs to the automobiles he repaired. Quite suddenly one night he died. I do not remember if he had a heart attack or what, but we were all stunned by his death, and to think he left a young widow and a small child.

Years later, she married local attorney, Cecil Campbell, and their son, John C. Campbell, is our judge now. Both she and Mr. Campbell are now gone. But I remember the handsome Archie Hanes and his gentle personality. The name on the building brings back all those memories each time I pass by.

Down the street from the site of the old West Bros, and across the alley, there are a few small shops that held many different businesses in the long ago.

The first one has been an accounting office for many years. before that back in the thirties it held a small bakery. I have written about the bread that was sold as "day old bread" for a nickel a loaf. Who had a nickel? I didn't, for sure

Just past Miss Della Craton's shop was the combination barber shop/beauty shop that Mr. T. T. Sumner operated. He was the father of our classmate, Lois Sumner, who was such a pretty girl.

Late in life, he married the wife that we all knew in the Baptist Church, Alice, and they reared a son, Tommy-Sumner.

She was superintendent of a children's department for many years. Mr. Sumner, as well as Alice are both dead.

The next building before the Citizens Bank of today is what we called the "Imperial Hotel." That was the only dining room for meetings that

Minden had back in the forties. Ford Motor Company honored Andress Motors Company for its excellence in sales and that was where the banquet was held.

Where Citizens Bank is now located was the site of a pool hall for many years. My classmate, Byron Collums and his father operated that business for many years. Before that it had been the location of Peoples Bank & Trust Company.

So many friends worked there. I especially remember Athlea Foster, Mabel Tisdale Turner and Bernice Ratcliff, as well as many others.

These three are dead. Athlea died almost forty years ago, Mabel died over ten years ago and Bernice died recently.

The Post Office of my childhood was moved, and the building torn down. Later Peoples Bank built there, and now Hibernia Bank is there today. Recently, I read that Hibernia had sold out to Capitol One.

Mrs. Sam Life, Mrs Meeks, Mr. Miles, Mr. Thompson and so many more that I remember are also dead, and the post office is now on Monroe Street.

Across the street from the post office, the building next to the alley has so many memories for me.

The first year, 1940, that I worked for Andress Motors Company I opened a charge account at the store there. It was Brown-Goodwill, and the owners were Mr. Ralph Goodwill, and Mr. Ed Brown. Mr. Brown was the father of my dentist, Dr. Brown, and our local artist, Cora Lou Brown Robinson.

That store handled lovely clothes, as well as shoes that I could wear. I had long, narrow feet and had always had difficulty in finding shoes, but Brown Goodwill had them.

Later years it was House of Gifts, with Lou Cook and her staff. The prettiest dishes, and the loveliest of gifts were available there. It was just a treat to look around at all the beautiful things there. Her daughter, Patti Odom, operated it after Lou's death. but it has been out of business now for some time

Across the alley where Electronics Unlimited is today was the site of the first A & P store of my memory. Among those who worked there would be my husband, J. C., and many others including George Calvit.

There were two other locations later for the A & P store, one where Webster Printing Company is today and the other was where Auto Zone is now, but I remember shopping in the first one.

They sold country butter from local families, and my mother always sent me in to buy a certain lady's butter. Only Goerge Calvit is still living from those who I knew there.

There are so many stores that are no longer in operation, and so many people who worked there are now dead and gone, but not forgotten. I have found recently that I remember people and events of over half a century ago better than I remember the last ten years.

Well, my son calls that having "Senior Moments" and folks, those "moments" are getting to be longer than a moment, more like "Senior Hours."

Often as we drive down the residential section of Minden, Lewisville Street, East and West, Richardson Street and others, I will point out house after house and name who lived there, and mention that they are now dead and gone. Few, if any, of the friends of long ago are still living that I knew in those houses.

I guess when you get to be almost 82, that my grandson, David, is right. When he was talking about my memories and my age he said "well, that's as far back as time goes."

And now you know just how old he thinks I am!! But, wait a minute, if you remember these stores and these people, too, you must not be too far behind me!

Juanita Agan submitted a weekly column to the Press-Herald for more than 15 years before her death in 2008. She was a resident of Minden since 1935. The Press-Herald is republishing selected articles from Mrs. Agan's Cameos column every Wednesday.­­






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