Store at Green’s Mill
The origin of the store at Lanton/Green’s Mill is given in Reference 1, p. 157:
Store was started about 25 years ago by Bunch and Green. They sold to J. H. Blair, who after 7 years, sold to G. P.
Pratt, and he a couple of years later, sold to W. L. Green. His brother, J. R. Green purchased the store, August, 1900,
(and) later erected a new building and added to the stock.”
This portion of Reference 1 was written about 1905, indicating that the store was started about 1880; however, information from Ref. 14 and the 1870 census indicates that Jeremiah Bunch, son of Solomon Bunch, started the store with a Green shortly after the Civil War. The Green who started the store would most likely have been Lucratus C. Green, father of the various Greens who would later make up a large part of the population of Green’s Mill.
Reference 1 does not state how long Bunch and Green ran the store before selling to J. H. Blair, but Ref. 14 says the store was sold to J. H. Blair about 1871. J. H. Blair owned it for seven years (until about 1878) before selling to G. P. Pratt. A couple of years later (about 1880), Pratt sold the store to W. L. Green (William Lucratus Green, oldest son of Lucratus Green, see page 9). W. L. Green later became postmaster at Spring Hill. Reference 1, p. 125, lists W. L. Green as postmaster at Spring Hill in 1905.
The firm date from Reference 1 is that J. R. Green (known to me as Uncle John) purchased the store in August 1900 and later “erected a new building and added to the stock.” J. R. Green is still listed as a “merchant” in the 1910 census. This “new” building, erected in the early 1900s, is the building in which I was born (living quarters were in the back of the store), and the building where my father ran the store from 1932 until about 1950, when a new concrete block building was constructed. The picture on the following page shows my younger brother, Harold, standing on the front porch of the store built in the early 1900s.
Although the Greens (J. R. and later A. C.) continued to own the store building and the land on which the store was built, Uncle John (J. R. Green) quit operating the store some time after 1910, and John Henry Johnson ran the store for a while. Following Johnson, Ed Lovett was the storekeeper until my father (Ronald H. Jackson) took over operation in about 1932.
Uncle John (J. R. Green) died in 1948. I remember him as an old man who drove an early ‘30s, black, two-door car to the store from his home about a quarter of a mile away. His wife, Anna Kelley Green, continued to live in Green’s Mill until her death in 1956.
Initially, my father, Ronald Jackson, was joined in operation of the store by his two brothers, Curtis and Douglas; but within a few years, my father took over sole operation.
By the early 1940s, the store was a center of activity for the community, particularly on the Friday and Saturday evenings. Games of Rook were played, and croquet was a favorite pastime. Daddy had a very good radio in the store, and we listened to the Grand Ole Opry on Saturday nights.
About 1950, Daddy had a new store built to replace the old weathered building which J. R. Green had built shortly after 1900. The new building was of concrete block construction and was built by Willard Derryberry who lived at Kedron. Shortly after the store was built, television made its debut in middle Tennessee. Daddy was the first in Green’s Mill to have a TV set, and the store became even more of a gathering place for the community because of the new medium of communication. Milton Berle and Friday Night Boxing were special attractions.
My father continued to operate the store in Green’s Mill until 1978 when he closed it due to the illness of my mother. After her death in September 1978, the store was never re-opened. In October 1996, Daddy sold the property in Green’s Mill, which included the store, the mill, and the house adjacent to the store, to Jennifer Murray Jewel. Shortly after the property was sold, the store building was torn down, so that today, nothing remains of either the store or the mill.
In addition to the store whose history we have been tracing, which was located almost directly across the road from the mill site, another store was operated in the Green’s Mill community by Gerald Price from 1946 until about 1952. Gerald Price was a descendant of Lucratus Green. The Price store was located about one-quarter mile from the mill site in the direction of Kedron. The building remains at the time of this writing and is used as a residence.
Mr. & Mrs. Ronald Jackson standing in front of the new store.