By Joan Flatt
Clyde Hall began his entrepreneurial endeavors about 1939, in a little blockhouse that was located behind Sisk’s Drugstore. In this little house, he engaged in the testing of cream for “butter-fat” content. However, it wasn’t long until he moved to another location. In this new location, he engaged in the sale of baby chicks, feed, and ice, on one side of the building, and groceries on the other side. This store was located in the line of stores located on Highway 32, behind where Harve Brown’s Store was. Brown’s store later became an addition to MFA. This particular one of Clyde’s stores was located further east, in this line of businesses and near Wofford’s Service Station.
The last store Clyde purchased was the former “Barnes Sisters’ Store.” It was purchased from Nellie and Lura Barnes. Lura died in 1948, so it is probable that Nellie didn’t wish to carry on the business without her sister. They weren’t married and lived together on Main Street, in a big two-story house, near Wayne and Maude Dunlap. They were the daughters of Ruth Athelia Carr and James Marion Barnes. They were also cousins to my mother. Athelia “Thelia” Carr was the daughter of Samuel Monroe Carr and Sarah Johnson. Sarah was a sister to my great-grandmother Brown.
The Barnes Sisters’ Store became Hall’s General Merchandise. The ceilings in this store were very high, so the store was equipped with a stepladder on wheels. This ladder slid along the walls to facilitate access to merchandise that sat up higher. In the rear behind the meat case was Clyde’s office. I remember standing as a child and watching him slice the various kinds of meat. Over to the left of the meat case, resting on a high shelf was the first television I was ever privileged to watch. We would go down on Saturday evenings and watch the “Ozark Jubilee.” I remember the Amburn family square dancing on that show, which was televised in Springfield, Missouri. This show gave rise to the stardom of Red Foley and Slim Wilson. Pat Boone married Red Foley’s daughter, Shirley.
There was an addition on the back of the store where Clyde and Margaret handled appliances. Daddy purchased our first television from them in 1957. In later years, he purchased a washer and dryer from them. And, I’m pretty sure, he also purchased the Seigler Wood Heater from them as well.
Clyde was the son of Marvin “Marve” Hall and Flora Catherine Schmickle. He married Margaret (Snow) Hall in 1939 and began his family. I will always have very fond memories of the Hall family. I spent a good deal of time in their store and have rented from them at various times throughout my life. You couldn’t possibly find nicer folks. Daddy, who was always a farmer at heart, loved to go with Clyde to the Hall farm near Maples, helping with fence building and various other farm chores.
Clyde and Margaret Hall operated Hall’s General Merchandise for 43 years. Their son Harold told me that he remembered standing on the street in front of the store, listening to the celebration when the end of WWII was declared. What an awesome memory! Licking is loaded with awesome memories, for those of us who grew up there.
Photo: Mike Hall stands in the doorway of 115 S. Main St. where his grandfather stood in this picture taken 75 years ago.