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.  

 


Signal Mountain Genealogical Society Presents Book

The Signal Mountain Genealogical Society presented the book Order of First Families of North Carolina Registry of Ancestors by John R. Brayton, The book contains research information from the days when Tennessee made up the western-most portion of North Carolina.  Many of the residents of Signal Mountain can trace their families to that time and location.  Betty Fassnacht, ... (click for more)

TSLA Releases a New Digital Collection Showcasing Tennessee Folklife

What do roley hole marbles, white oak baskets, shape-note singing, and banjoes have in common? All are examples of Tennessee folk culture or "folkways" available online in the Tennessee State Library and Archives’ newest digital collection: "Tennessee State Parks Folklife Project Collection, 1979-1984." The collection documents folk culture unique to Tennessee and highlights Tennessee's ... (click for more)

Randall Lockhart Remains In Critical Condition After Fire That Took The Life Of His Wife, Candy

The man rescued by firefighters from Wednesday’s fatal fire at 220 Houser St. remains in critical condition today in the burn unit at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center . He has been identified as Randall Lockhart, 41. His wife, Candy, succumbed to her severe injuries a few hours after she was pulled out of the burning house. The couple’s three children escaped ... (click for more)

Woman Assaulted, Man Shot In Chamberlain Avenue Home Invasion

A woman was assaulted and a man shot in a home invasion on Chamberlain Avenue early Friday morning. At approximately 4:43 a.m., the Chattanooga Police Department responded to 2708 North Chamberlain Ave. for a home invasion/shooting.   Officers discovered that a black male forced entry into the residence and assaulted the first victim,Tequla Nicole Watkins, 28. ... (click for more)

Policeman: Modern Day "Boogie Man"

As a child I was under the impression that a ghastly, grotesque creature had taken up residence in my bedroom closet, the proverbial “Boogie Man” I suppose.  This is not an uncommon thing among children and most likely to some fault of my own as I subjected myself to some pretty iconic 1980’s horror flicks. There were other kids in the neighborhood that not only claimed to ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A ‘Black Friday’ Poem

On this, “Black Friday,” when frantic shopping and crowded aisles cause some nerves to wear thin, please allow me to share a poem a friend sent me not long ago called “Shoes in Church.” Perhaps it will be fitting: SHOES IN CHURCH I showered and shaved. I adjusted my tie. I got there and sat In a pew just in time. Bowing my head in prayer, as I closed my eyes. I saw ... (click for more)