The Western Auto Store was an important part of downtown Summerville for decades. Jerry Prince, son of longtime owner Frank Prince, gives a brief history....
Daddy worked as a sales rep for Western Auto from 1936 to 1941. He covered North Georgia, calling on dealer stores, representing Western Auto Supply Company to the dealers, promoting new merchandise, and helping the dealers be successful in their own operations.
He always admired the store in Summerville owned by J.E. Shattuck of Lafayette. Daddy made the comment to J.E. on several occasions that he really liked that store.
One day, J.E. called Daddy and said the store was his if he wanted it because J.E. and his wife were joining the army. Daddy said he didn't have enough money to buy it, but J.E. financed it for him.
Daddy took the store over on September 2, 1941 and operated it until he retired in 1971. That's when I bought the store and ran it until I sold it in 1983. Western Auto Supply was sold to Sears Roebuck in 1987.
Winston Rowlls, Ricky Croy, Frank Prince, and (front with tire) Jerry Prince unloading a truckload of new tires for a big July sale, in a photograph looking north across West Washington Street.
Jerry and Frank Prince surrounded by televisions.
Mr. and Mrs. Prince at the grand opening of the new location on West Washington Street, site of the current courthouse annex. The store was previously located near the Tooga Theater.
Featured in the company magazine, The Retailer, as contestants to win a trip to San Juan. Jerry states they didn't win this particular time, but won several other trips later. Pictured are (L-R) Frank Prince, C.C. McSherry, Juanita Prince, Fred Reynolds, Pete Denson, and a Western Auto sales rep.
Jerry Prince selling Bud Jackson a new set of tires.
Juanita (Mrs. Frank) Prince and Jackie Strickland. Jerry says that Mrs. Strickland was a great employee for over fifteen years and, along with Mrs. Prince, ran the office. Note the stack of 8-track tapes on the right.
Another interior shot of the West Washington Street store.
Thanks to Jerry Prince for sharing the story of the Summerville Western Auto Store.
Photographs courtesy of Jerry Prince and Frank Prince, Jr.
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Copyright 2011 Greg W. McCollum. All rights reserved.