Sons of Co-owner of Service Auto Parts Share Their Memories

Tuesday, July 15, 2014 - by Harmon Jolley
Photograph circa 1960 of the conversion of the former Austin Feed to Service Auto Parts at 3462 Brainerd Road
Photograph circa 1960 of the conversion of the former Austin Feed to Service Auto Parts at 3462 Brainerd Road

Don and David Maddox, sons of Service Auto parts co-founder Owen Maddox, shared their memories in response to my recent article on the business.

From Don:

Again, thanks for putting this in the Chattanoogan. It brought back many good memories of the days I worked with my father selling auto parts here in Chattanooga.

Both Hollin Williams and my father, Owen Maddox started out working for an auto parts warehouse called Jobbers Warehouse located at Cowart and Main streets back in the early fifties. Both Hollin and Owen were outside salesmen for the company and the owner, Jimmy Parker, saw that they were interested in going into their own business and helped them get started on Brainerd Road at the corner of Tunnel Blvd in an old, abandoned gas station. It was small, had a basement with dirt walls, and was cheap to rent, so that’s where they started out.

I was about 6 years old at the time but spent some time there because my mother helped keep the books. After a few years there, the old Austin Feed Store across the street became available and the company moved across the street where there was more room for expansion.

I have attached a picture of the old Austin Feed store taken after it was being converted to the Service Auto Parts store at 3462 Brainerd Road. You can see the scaffolding in front. This was taken around 1960.

Soon after that they opened the East Ridge store, and then in 1970 opened the Hwy 58 location. Next to open were the Hixson location and then East Brainerd and McFarland Avenue. Both my brother and I worked there as kids cleaning, putting stock up and later driving delivery trucks. We both worked in the business until we sold it to NAPA in 1986.

My father and Hollin Williams always treated their customers with respect and honesty, truly believing that Service did come first.

In 1978, Hollin retired and sold his half of the business to my father. In 1986, NAPA Auto Parts of Atlanta purchased all 5 locations from my father and ran them under their name. Today, the only location NAPA has in Chattanooga is located near Lee Smith International.

From David;

My name is David Maddox the older of two sons of Owen Maddox. Thank you so much for the article on our family business service auto parts.  My father, brother Don and myself bought out dad's partner in the late 70's and continued to operate and grow the business.  We sold to NAPA in 1986.

My dad died in 2006 and at his funeral many many men came to pay their respect to an honest and caring business man and friend.  

 



Chattanooga History Books By John Wilson Available At Zarzour's Restaurant, By Mail

John Wilson, former Hamilton County Historian and publisher of Chattanoogan.com, has written two volumes on the early families of Hamilton County and also books on Chattanooga and on Lookout Mountain, as well as editing books on Chattanooga's railroads and the Stokes and Hiener photo collections. Railroads In And Around Chattanooga , featuring Chattanooga's intriguing railroad ... (click for more)

Bells Were Among Founders Of Hill City

David Newton Bell helped develop Harrison into the county seat, but failed to lure the all-important railroad to the river community. His son, James Smith Bell, was one of the Hill City(North Chattanooga) promoters and Bell Avenue bears his name. The Bell family was living at Wythe County,Va., when David N. Bell was born in 1797. But when he was a young boy, his father, Samuel ... (click for more)

Sweeping New Off Ramp, Frontage Road Off I-24 Eastbound Near U.S. Pipe Planned; $37 Million TDOT Project Will Have Signalized Connections To Broad, Market

A sweeping new off ramp for traffic coming into Chattanooga around Moccasin Bend on I-24 is planned, along with a new frontage road by the freeway that will have signalized connections to Broad, Williams and Market streets.   The $37 million project will replace a confusing set of freeway off and on loops along this section, including one near Howard School. ... (click for more)

Witnesses Say 69-Year-Old Jogger And Alleged Rapist Were Both Bruised Up After 2014 Encounter

Witnesses said a 69-year-old jogger and his alleged teen attacker were both bruised up during their 2014 encounter in North Chattanooga. Diontae Smartt, who was 17 at the time of his arrest, is standing trial for aggravated rape in the courtroom of Judge Don Poole. He is free on bond. The male jogger took the witness stand at the start of the trial, saying he was attacked ... (click for more)

Is This Really About Slavery?

The greatest thing that came out of the American Civil War came after the cessation of hostilities. After four years of deadly, devastating, agonizing war and over 600,000 Americans had died, the armies came to a halt. The killing ended, but the suffering continued for many of the wounded and those whose homes and fortunes had gone up in smoke and been left as rubble. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Ooltewah’s Redemption

Before a monthly meeting of the Hamilton County School Board, I was having a conversation with Deputy Sheriff Jake Thomas when I asked him what he did for the department. “I’m a School Resource Officer at Ooltewah,” he said, and when I raised an eyebrow he added, “It’s the best school in Hamilton County. (Principal) Robin Copp has completely turned it around and I adore going to ... (click for more)