The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003 Page: 85
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The History and Modus Operandi of a Small Merchant
W. Smith."2 Family history supports this date as the approximate time
Julian's family removed to Jasper.
There is a hiatus in the extant microfilm copies of the Jasper News-Boy
from 1921 through 1924. Fortunately, however, my personal memory,
and that of other family members, dates from at least as early as 1923.
The earliest recollection I have of my father's Jasper business is from
1922 or 1923 at "Scarborough and Lanier's." A clean, uncluttered gen-
eral store with two glass show windows and central door, it carried most-
ly dry goods with only a vestige of groceries toward the back. In the
store's right rear corner, Mr. Rad Scarborough was generally writing at
his desk and smoking his curved "Sherlock Holmes" pipe. Clerking over
the store were Julian Lanier; Mr. Tom House, a tall, slender young man
with black hair and good-natured personality; and Mrs. Dee Parker. In
the rear wall was a door leading to a back room filled with feedstuff and
Another specific memory I have of this business is that of black work-
men coming in on Saturdays and buying sardines, cheese, crackers, and
soda water, and taking it to the partitioned-off back room for a place to
sit and eat. These were probably mill workers or railroad tie makers.
For reasons unknown, Julian Lanier sold his partnership to Rad
Scarborough in about August 1924. By family history, however, he had
done quite well financially, and enjoyed a strong cash position on mov-
ing with his family to Lufkin, Texas, that fall. In Lufkin, Julian scouted
for business opportunities for perhaps two months, no doubt recalling
his experiences in that city as a teenager working for his uncle. Finding
nothing to his satisfaction, however, he soon moved his family to
Jacksonville, Texas, where in the early spring of 1925 he bought out the
firm of Owen and Gilchrist, a dry goods store. The earliest newspaper
reference to this new store is recorded in the Jacksonville Daily Progress in
the April 21, 1925, "Personals" column: '"J. A. Lanier went to Dallas on
April 21, 1925 to buy for store."24
At this new store, centrally located just east of the First National
Bank building on Commerce Street, "J. A. Lanier's" carried men's,
women's, and children's ready-to-wear, and, a few months later, gro-
ceries as well. Also, his ads show that he was heavily into piece goods. I
remember but little about this store, my father's first in Jacksonville. I
21JasperNews-Boy,July 25, 1919.
24 The Jacksonvlle Dazly Progress, Jacksonville's daily newspaper, was pubhshed throughout the
length of Lanier's business experience in that city. Moreover, its daily copies are largely extant,
and were recently researched by the author in the Jacksonville Public Library for the greater part
of Lanier's stay in that city. This circumstance, together with his predilection for weekly advertis-
ing, has provided a substantial chronology of his several businesses, their locations, and indica-
tions of the merchandise he carried.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003, periodical, 2003; Austin, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101223/m1/113/: accessed April 24, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.