Jellico Grocery Company of Oneida started business here on May 1, 1914 as a branch from the parent company incorporated December 3, 1903 in Jellico, Tennessee. The parent company had operations in both Kentucky and Tennessee providing weekly service to the grocer supplying a complete retail grocery line of merchandise from one source.
The first officers in 1903 of the Jellico Grocery Company in Jellico, Tennessee were Dr. ANCIL GATLIFF, President; R. B. BAIRD, Vice-President; U. S. JONES, Secretary and Manager; W. M. ELLISON, Treasurer; and M. V. SILER, Director.
By 1908 the Company had built a warehouse at Middlesboro, Kentucky and this was followed in 1912 by the purchase of Carson Brothers of Harriman, Tennessee.
Since Oneida had the Tennessee Railroad and construction had started on the Oneida and Western Railroad, the Company followed the development and opened for business here in 1914.
The year 1916 found the town of Kingsport, Tennessee booming with new industries. The Kingsport Grocery was ready for business October 9, 1916.
Trucking wholesale grocery products the old fashioned way
During 1917 the Company opened branches at Barbourville, Manchester and Corbin, Kentucky. A branch was operated at West Palm Beach, Florida from 1925 to 1939. During 1928 the Company purchased the stock of the Standard Grocery Company in Elizabethton, Tennessee and changed the name to Jellico Grocery Company.
In 1930 the Company purchased the business of the Bryan-Hunt Company in Lexington, Kentucky and operated under that name until the business was liquidated in 1971.
In 1941 in Somerset, Kentucky the Company purchased the business of Carter Brothers and in 1961 the business of Ledford and Ellis which was all consolidated into the Somerset Branch. In 1969 the wholesale grocery division of the Stearns Coal and Lumber Company was purchased and consolidated with the Oneida facility.
In the late 50’s the new facility on Jellico Street in Oneida was completed. The move was then made from the plant that had been "home" to Jellico Grocery on Depot Street for over 40 years to the new plant.
In 1975 the Jellico Grocery Company was acquired by the H. T. Hackney Company headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Although technology has changed the delivery system for this wholesale grocery provider, you will see as you read this chronicle of events (for the Oneida facility) that the common thread throughout the history of both corporations, Jellico Grocery and H. T. Hackney Co., has been providing customer satisfaction.
Independent grocers in Wayne, McCreary and Pulaski Counties in Kentucky and in Scott, Morgan, Anderson, Fentress, Pickett, Cumberland and Roane Counties in Tennessee are served by the H.T. Hackney Company, Oneida Distribution Center, formerly known as the Jellico Grocery Company.
A traveling sales force of five, travels their assigned route weekly calling on grocers to obtain their merchandise orders. As an example of the size of the territory for the individual salesman, MIKE PUCKETT travels approximately 50,000 miles a year. He calls on customers in Spring City, Crossville, Harriman, Rockwood, Oliver Springs, Lake City and Caryville. Electronic order entry machines and shelf tags to assist with orders are also available. A fleet of trucks provide next day delivery to the grocer.
Places were served by Jellico Grocery that have long since faded away. All that remains of some of these once thriving towns and logging/mining camps are crumbling chimneys, scattered foundation stones and a few daffodils, "Easter" bushes and rambling rose bushes.
LOYD GOAD, who retired from Jellico Grocery after 40 years of service, remembers when deliveries were made to DOUGLAS GARRETT’s store in Gernt and LUTHER PENNINGTON’s store in Zenith; and LOYD remembers making deliveries himself to CARL PHILLIPS’ store in Winona; ELMER BROWN’s store in Cordell; MAE HUGHETT’s store in Bull Creek; MIKE ROBBINS’ store in Brimstone; SHERMAN OVERTON’s store in Brimstone; Brimstone Coal Company store in Brimstone; JASPER HUGHETT’s store in Robbins; SAM NORRIS’ store in Elgin; VIRGIL NORRIS’ store in Robbins and CLAUDE STOREY’s store in Mountain View; TOM PAYNE’s store in Black Oak; MERC THOMPSON’s store in New Haven; WATSON’s store in Coopertown; SAM GARRETT’s store in West Oneida; Sgt. ALVIN C. YORK’s store in Pall Mall; OGLE PYLE’s store in Pall Mall; MELINDY DUNCAN’s store in Jellico Creek; GEORGE SHOEMAKER’S store in the Tea Room; GEORGE CHAMBERS’ store in Huntsville and CALVERT ELLIS’ store in Huntsville; RANDO ACRES’ store in Capital Hill; HENRY BYRD’s store in Capital Hill; DILLARD JEFFERS’ store at Buffalo Bridge; ESPY SEXTON’s store in Little Creek; HARVEY GOAD’S store in Capital Hill; E. C. HUGHETT’S Store in Straight Fork; DAN PENNINGTON’s Store in Norma; ELVA RUTH YADEN’s Store at Buffalo Bridge; DUB BLAKLEY’s Store in Helenwood; TOM DANIEL’s Store in Helenwood; MUG MARCUM’s Store in Helenwood; RICHARD MARCUM’s Store in Helenwood; BILLY CROSS’s Store in Helenwood; BOOG PHILLIPS’ Store in Oneida; MARLEY PHILLIPS’ Store in Oneida; BILL PHILLIPS’ store in Oneida; SHORTY COOPER’s Store in Oneida; DAVIS Store in Oneida; DAUGHERTY’s Grocery in St. Fork; CARL GARRETT’s Store in Golby; WOODWARD’s Store in Capital Hill; Mrs. MASSEY’s Store in Glenmary; COLDITZ’s Store in Allardt; JESS WEAVER’s Store in Oneida; CROSS Hotel in Oneida; HARRISON TERRY’s Store in West Oneida; just to name a few.
LOYD remembered helping on more than one occasion "Miss Gracie", ALVIN C. YORK’s wife, move her porch flowers into the house in the autumn using his two wheel loader.
Among many humorous stories that LOYD GOAD shared of things that happened during his 40 years with Jellico Grocery, the one about an old-timer who frequently wrote a letter informing Jellico Grocery of his grocery needs is most enjoyable. The old-timer mailed the letter explaining that all he needed was 100 pounds of salt. He added a footnote saying "never mind... I checked in the back and found some salt". It must have not occurred to him to just not mail the letter.
Another story from LOYD conveys the dedication to service that ran throughout the staff at Jellico Grocery.
The offices and Oneida headquatters of the Jellico Grocery Co. (now known as the H. T. Hackney Co.)
Shortly after a flash flood at Clinchmore (a little settlement at the base of the mountains between Smoky Junction and Lake City) LOYD remembered the terrible devastation the flood caused. Lives were lost and property damage was enormous. To make his delivery at Stony Fork, he had to wade with water coming over his "four-buckle" boots to move logs out of the way to get through. Survivors recalled the ground trembling as the large trees, rocks and debris came crashing down the mountains in the flood swollen creek through the settlement of Clinchmore where folk were caught unaware. He also remembered fondly one of his fellow truck drivers, HOLLINS KIDD, coming to check on him at Clinchmore to make sure he made it through safely. He said as long as he lived he would not forget this expression of caring.
FORMER/RETIRED EMPLOYEES OF THE ONEIDA FACILITY
LELAND CARSON — 1914-1918. -
BOB EASLEY — 1918-1933.
GEORGE BALES — 1933-1946.
BURNICE BATES — 1946-1960.
HUGH VAUGHN — 1936-1968: HUGH was employed from 1936-1968; he began as bookkeeper in Corbin, then moved to the position of manager of the Elk Mfg. Co. (the spice division of Jellico Grocery) in Jellico, Tennessee; in 1940 he assumed the position of manager of the Jellico Grocery Warehouse in Somerset; in 1960 he moved to Oneida as Manager of the Oneida warehouse a position he held until he retired in 1968. From 1968 to 1979 he was employed by First Trust & Savings Bank in Oneida and retired as Sr. Vice President.
FRED STRUNK — 1947-1981: FRED was employed from 1947 to 1981 and served as Manager from 1968 to 1981.
ROGER BALL — 1981-1989.
I. O. CHITWOOD was employed by Jellico Grocery Company in Oneida in 1914. From 1916 to 1949 he served as manager of several branches of the company. From 1949 until his retirement in 1973 he served as controller. He completed 57 years of service to Jellico Grocery Company.
HARRY COFFEY served from 1916 to 1956. During his forty years of service, he was one of the best known salesmen in this area, having worked many years in Scott, Fentress and Morgan Counties, and also McCreary and Wayne County, Kentucky. Harry was the last salesman to work his territory by riding horseback. He boarded his horse at LORY ELLIS’s store in Mt. Helen and rode it from there into Zenith to call on his customers.
JOHN BURKE served from 1923-1969. John started as a truck driver and was promoted to salesman. His territory included Scott, Campbell, Fentress and Morgan counties and McCreary County, Kentucky.
ALBERT (Shorty) VAUGHN served from 1925-1971. SHORTY worked his way from delivery man to salesman, completing 46 years of service to Jellico Grocery Company. SHORTY enjoyed telling the story about himself the time he was crossing the Pee Wee Mountain during a snow storm to make a delivery. Houses were few and far between on this isolated mountain road and one of SHORTY’s snow chains came unfastened. He was having great difficulty getting it fastened bach when he heard a wild cat yell around the mountain. He said then that chain just fell into place!
HERBERT SLAVEN served from 1947-1972. HERBERT started working in the warehouse, but after a short time was promoted to truck driver then to the office staff. In early 1949, he was promoted to salesman. His territory consisted of: Scott, Anderson, Cumberland, Fentress and Roane Counties in Tennessee. At the time of his death, January 29, 1972, he had been employed by Jellico Grocery Company 25 years.
LEAMON MORRIS served from 1942 to 1978. He retired as day shift foreman with 36 years of service.
LAWRENCE BYRD served from 1946 to 1978 and retired as warehouse man.
ERNEST JONES served from 1950 to 1975 and retired as warehouse man.
LONNIE JEFFERS served from 1951 to 1978. With 27 years of service, he worked as truck driver and warehouse man.
HILDA CHITWOOD served from 1933 to 1977 (with occasional medical leaves of absence).
DOYLE KIDD served from 1967-1980 as truck driver.
ROBERT HARRIS served from 4-1-48 to 5-1-84 as truck driver and warehouse foreman.
LOYD GOAD served from 1-1-42 to 1982. During his 40 years of service he worked as salesman, truck driver and warehouse man.
LELAND TOMPKINS, Armathwaite, served from 1954 to 1981. He worked as truck driver and fork lift operator.
J. D. REED worked in office and sales from 1947-1967.
AUSTIN C. VOILES, Armathwaite, served from 8-17-62 to 8-22-84 as warehouse man.
CECIL VOILES, 1955-1981. He worked as warehouse man.
ESTILL JONES served as a salesman from 1969 to 1986.
GLEN QUEENER served from 1930-1978. With 48 years of service, retired as a salesman. GLEN lived in Jellico and would meet a truck to turn in his orders.
FRANK SIMS became Manager of the Oneida facility in December, 1989. Prior to that he was Sales Manager at H.T. Hackney for two and half years.
ROGER BALL, Buyer, was a former manager of Stearns Wholesale. When Jellico Grocery purchased Stearns Wholesale in 1969, Mr. BALL came to Oneida as Assistant Manger and Buyer. Mr. BALL served as manager of Jellico Grocery in Oneida from 1981-1989.
JAMES (Doc) MORGAN, Stearns, Ky., began 2-3-69 as Sales and Buyer.
TOMMY JEFFERS began 5-26-75 as route salesman. He joined the office staff in March, 1990.
JETTA FAYE CHAMBERS began working for Jellico Grocery Company 5-16-62. She is bookkeeper and payroll clerk and has worked in all departments of the office.
CLARA TERRY began working May 4, 1983. She manages accounts payable and accounts receivable.
LOUISE SMITH began in May, 1989 and is responsible for order entry.
TOMMY JOE VOILES, Oneida, Foreman, began working with Jellico Grocery Company April 8, 1978.
ESTOL STEPHENS, Oneida, began work 8-17-71.
CLEAMON GOAD began 2-21-74.
CURTIS HICKS began 7-1-71.
CHARLES T. PERRY, Robbins, began 9-1-75.
DARRELL TOMPKINS began 7-28-75.
HOVER KEITH, Jr., 1990.
TRAVELING SALES FORCE
HOLLINS B. KIDD, Oneida, began 3-148.
FRAZIER WILSON, New River, began 8-23-65.
JAMES M. PUCKETT, Robbins, began 3-9-77.
WENDELL HILL, Pine Knot, began 2-1-69.
PAUL CRABTREE, Strunk, Ky., began 74-69.
HURSTLE PRIVETT, Pine Knot, Night Foreman, began 11-28-75.
JOHN C. PYLE, Pine Knot, began 6-26-78.
ALEX A. BUSICNKI, Oneida, began 3-1-82.
JAKE SLAVEN, Oneida, began 3-13-84.
CECIL ANTHONY CROWLEY began March 1990.
MELVIN STEPHENS began December, 1989.
LARRY M. KIDD began 12-5-80.
DALLAS DUVALL began 8-9-77.
LARRY DUNCAN began 1-4-79.
TIMOTHY PHILLIPS began in 1989.
DWAYNE SMITH began in 1990.
"In these fast-paced times when customer service seems to be a thing of the past, H. T. Hackney customers enjoy personal attention as well as start-of-the-art conveniences. We have not forgotten a principle on which this company was founded — a successful business is built on customer satisfaction." WILLIAM SANSOM, C.E.O., H.T. Hackney Company.
The H.T. Hackney Company has facilities in Knoxville, Oneida, Athens, Greeneville and Johnson City, Tennessee; Greenville, South Carolina; Somerset, Paducah and Middlesboro, Kentucky; and Waynesville and Murphy, North Carolina.
Also, there are four cash and carry stores; one each in Knoxville, Tennessee; Corbin and Bowling Green, Kentucky; and Dalton, Georgia.
First National Bank of Oneida salutes Jellico Grocery Company/H.T. Hackney as it celebrates 76 years of service May 1, 1990 to retailers in our area.
FNB Chronicle, Vol. 1, No. 3 – Spring 1990
First National Bank
P.O. Box 4699
Oneida, TN 37841
(pages 1 and 4)
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