Spears Service Station and Grocery

The largest store in the 1950s and 60s was Spears Grocery and Sinclair station. The store was originally located on Texas 35 adjacent Uncle Bob Weisinger's Gulf station, but it was moved to U. S. 59 when that road was built after World War II. Jim Spears purchased the store and station from Sam Courtney in 1937 and operated it there until the late 1940s. The store had been started by Hollis and Hamilton Parrish and then Claude Smith before Courtney bought it.

Previously he had operated a store at Hoshall, which had previously been operated by his father Ben Spears. Ben's father Amos Spears had been a partner in a store in Lufkin with a Mantooth shortly after Lufkin was founded. Jim Spears then operated a store on Highway 69 east of Lufkin at what is now the intersection of Loop 287.

When U.S. Highway 59, he moved the store to the new highway where he sold Sinclair gasoline. About 1958 he either sold or leased the store to Wesley Ryan, but he died after runnng the store for only a few years. Spears took the store over again and ran it until his health failed in the late 1960s. Paul Tucker bought the store and ran it as a servce station and grocery for a time. Eventually it was converted to a cafe.

Soem time in the 1950s, Spears sold or leased the store to Wesley Ryan who operated it until his death several years later. Spears then resumed operation of the store until his health failed in the late 1960s. The store was operated for several years after Spears retired Zusle (Junior) and Margie Rush. They eventually converted it to a cafe before closing it for good.

During the late 1950s Jim drove one of the two Burke School buses, taking over after the retirement of Jake Lee.

Sources:

  1. Juanita Spears Hines, Personal Recollections
  2. Lee Murrah, Personal Recollections