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.  

 


History Center's Walking Tour of Fort Wood is October 28

As a part of the Chattanooga History Center’s Director’s Series , Dr. Daryl Black will lead a walking tour of the historic Ford Wood neighborhood.   The tour will be Tuesday, October 28 starting at 5:30pm.   Registered participants will meet at the corner of Oak and Palmetto streets.   The fee is $10 for the general public or $5 for Chattanooga History Center ... (click for more)

Catoosa County Historical Society Meeting is October 13

The Catoosa County Historical Society meeting will be Monday, October 13, 2014 at 7 pm in the Old Stone Church Museum in Ringgold, GA. Our speaker will Chris McKeener, she will be speaking about the 6th Calvary Museum in Fort Oglethorpe, where she has served  as the executive director since 2005.     Also, we will have a short presentation ... (click for more)

Erlanger Refinancing To Provide Cash For New Children's/Women's Hospital, $50 Million Erlanger East Expansion, $8.5 Million Surgical Improvements

Erlanger Health System officials said an overhaul of the hospital's debt will include $70 million in new loans for several major hospital projects - including $11.5 million toward a new $30 million Children's/Women's Hospital. The overall cost of the latter facility is $30 million, but the hospital is seeking significant outside gifts and support. It will also pay for a $50 million ... (click for more)

Legendary Radio Broadcaster Luther Dies At 92 After Record 74 Years On The Air; Funeral Will Be Thursday At 2 PM At Engel Stadium

Legendary radio broadcaster Luther Masingill died early Monday morning at Memorial Hospital surrounded by family and friends. He was 92 and had been on the air for a record 74 years. Funeral services will be held on Thursday at Historic Engel Stadium, 1130 E 3rd St., at 2 p.m. with Pastor Todd McElyea officiating.   Honorary pallbearers will be the staff at ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Has Lost Its Most Popular Citizen - Luther Masingill

Chattanooga has lost its most popular citizen – Luther Masingill. Although we are saddened we cherish the memories.  All of us have a Luther story.  Mine is the first time I met Luther.  This was before TV and all of Chattanooga listened to Luther on the radio.  I was 12-years-old.  Some of my buddies and I had gone to the State Theater in downtown ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: An Election Day Fable

Every day I am peppered with emails that friends send to me from across the country so I am unsure of where the fable you are about to read originated. But with early voting for the November general election now in full swing, I think everyone who will -- or will not -- take part in freedom’s greatest privilege should read this story because I believe there is a great lesson contained ... (click for more)