Thursday, April 29, 2010

Western Auto Store opens in Fulton

After World War II, Fulton experienced a retail boom of sorts. Many new downtown businesses were started up, one of which was the Western Auto store opened by Paul Eugene Mize. Mr. Mize came to Itawamba County largely due to the lovely Miss Hazel Sheffield, daughter of Isaac L. Sheffield and Anna Walker Rogers. The Mizes owned and operated the Western Auto store in Fulton for many, many years.

The store's grand opening was announced in the May 2, 1946 edition of the Itawamba County Times. Delmus Harden, the owner, editor and publisher of the Times newspaper, was very cognizant of the symbiotic relationship between merchants and the community newspaper. From reading earlier newspapers ("News Beacon" "County News" etc) and then transitioning to the Times, one can easily see Delmus's (as I've always referred to him, although he was always Mr. Harden when speaking to him!) view of the role of the community newspaper. I've really come to appreciate and admire Delmus Harden's impact on our little county - not that I wasn't aware of his contribution before - but now I've been able to see it from the beginning of his ownership of the county paper.

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