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.  

 



Boyds Were In Hamilton County At An Early Date; Several Fought With The Confederacy

Alexander Boyd settled about four miles south of Ooltewah before the Indian removal, purchasing his land near White Oak Mountain for as little as a quarter an acre. Several of his grandchildren fought for the Confederacy. The Boyds apparently went from Scotland to Pennsylvania and to frontier Tennessee just after the Revolution. Alexander Boyd was born about ... (click for more)

Wilson-Crouch House Added To National Register Of Historic Places

The Tennessee Historical Commission Tuesday announced the addition of the Wilson-Crouch House in Tullahoma to the National Register of Historic Places.  “The latest National Register of Historic Places listing reflects Tennessee’s heritage and honors a residence that is worthy of being recognized and appreciated,” said Executive Director and State Historic Preservation Officer ... (click for more)

Arson Suspected In Morning House Fire

Chattanooga firefighters were dispatched to a reported structure fire around  5:40 a.m.  on Thursday at 2707 N. Chamberlain Ave. Captain David Brooks with Engine 4 said smoke and flames were visible when they arrived on the scene. The firefighters forced their way in through the front door, made an aggressive attack on the fire, and extinguished the flames ... (click for more)

County Issuing Up To $235 Million In Bonds - Mainly For School Projects

Hamilton County plans to issue up to $235 million in general obligation bonds with the funds mainly to go to county school projects. The County Commission earlier approved a property tax increase to support the bond issue. Finance Director Al Kiser said there will be a 20-day waiting period in which taxpayers can protest the issuance. He said the county will prepare an ... (click for more)

Vince Dean Saved The Day

Permit me to publicly express appreciation to Vince Dean. His calm, comprehensive and diplomatic arguments to the Chattanooga City Council against the administration’s ill-advised plan to segregate retirees and herd them unwillingly into a separate insurance plan unquestionably saved the day. The proposed new plan, if implemented, was certain to cause months of chaos and confusion ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Let’s Focus On ‘Better’

As I stepped away from the overflow crowd at  Monday  night’s Town Council meeting on Signal Mountain, I leaned in to tell Jean Trohanis how sorry I was to hear of the loss of her dearest friend. But in that millisecond before I could speak, the former but still-loved elementary school principal gave me her best hallway hiss and, with a pointed finger, she ordered, “You ... (click for more)