The Daily Press solicited information
from all locally-owned businesses.
Following, in chronological order
are profiles based on their responses.
Trice Brothers Furniture
The undertaking and cabinet making business founded by Henry Samuel
Trice in 1885 has evolved and endured for 97 years, making it the oldest
continuously operated business in Paragould under single family
Born Nov. 9, 1853, Trice was reared
on a farm in the Greensboro community
near the Craighead-Greene county line.
He moved his family to Paragould
where he formed a partnership with
James Dickson, his brother-in-law, and
opened an undertaking and cabinet mak-
ing business in the 100 block of West
Trice, the first licensed embalmer in
northeast Arkansas, assisted in the
early organization of the Arkansas
Embalmers and Funeral Directors
Association. In addition to his business,
Trice served as county treasurer from
At the close of his term as treasurer,
he became sole owner of the business.
When growth required larger quarters,
the business was moved to its current
location at 206-208 S. Pruett St.
The undertaking part of the business
was assigned to the second floor and
furniture was located on the first floor.
Two sons, William F. and Joe T.,
joined their father in the business and
later purchased the firm which became
Trice Brothers In. William was the
licensed embalmer and funeral direct-
or and operated the undertaking
business while sharing the duties of
the furniture division with his brother.
Furniture sales increased and more
space was needed for merchandise
display. The second floor undertaking
department was taken over for furniture and the undertaking was moved
next door, to a store at 210 S. Pruett St. Funeral homes still had not
Joe Trice moved to Jonesboro and
established the Trice Brothers store in
1910 which continued for several years
following his death in 1930.
The late Randal Mitchell, a former em- ployee and manager of Trice
Brothers Furniture and Undertaking, bought the undertaking part of the
business which developed into Mitchell Funeral Home.
William Trice's sons, Harlan and Bill,
grew up in the business and have
continued the operation.
First National Bank
The Bank of Paragould began business on March 7, 1889, on Pruett Street
where Arnold's Jewelry is located today. On May 6, 1903, the name was
changed to First National Bank of Paragould.
State Bank was organized July 2, 1901, at the corner of Emerson and
Pruett streets, the present location of Recreation on the Corner. The
name was changed to National Bank of Commerce on April 27, 1911.
On June 30, 1967, National Bank of
Commerce and First National Bank merged and changed the name to First
National Bank of Commerce. The two banks had combined total resources of
$20.7 million. On Feb. 13, 1973, the name was shortened to First
National Bank as it is known today.
First National today has total assets exceeding $100 million. It moved
to its current location at West Court and Second streets in 1961.
Security Bank and Trust Co. was incor-
porated July 24, 1906, with a capital stock of $100,000 divided into
1,000 shares of $100 each. A. A. Knox was president in 1914 and records
old minutes book show W. O. Poole as
president in 1916.
A savings department was authorized
in 1916; deposits reached $212,000 and 1,486 loans were made. Dr. R. J.
was elected president in 1920.
On Nov. 12, 1930, the bank was reor-
ganized as The Security Band and Trust
Co., Paragould. At the end of 1931, as-
sets had climbed to $442,732.
In 1960, James E. Alexander was chairman and E.R. Browning became
president. In 1964, Browning was chairman and W.W. Misenhimer became
president. The year 1965 saw the bank's name changed to Security Bank.
Marlin D. Jackson was elected presi-
dent and chairman on Jan. 13, 1970 and
stayed for 13 years. On April 15, 1983, Jackson was appointed state bank
com-missioner by Gov. Bill Clinton. Frank Oldham Jr. was elected
chairman and president on April 21.
The main bank is located at the corner of West Court and North
Pruett streets. There are branch banks in Center Hill, the Paragould
Plaza Park and Marmaduke.
DeBons and Co.
DeBons and Co., a sheet metal shop, was started in 1907 by J.B. DeBons,
father of Eugene and Albert DeBons, the present owners. It was located
in a building next to Clyde Mack Co. before moving to the 200 block on
North Pruett Street and in 1917 to 107 W. Highland St.
It remained there until the present build-
ing at 907 N. Third St. was finished in 1962. The DeBons sons acquired
owner-ship when their father died in 1949.
Paragould Laundry Dry Cleaners
Barton and McPherson founded the
Paragould Steam Laundry, located at
207 E. Main St., in 1912.
Two years later, the laundry was moved to 409 N. Pruett St., its
present location, and the name was changed to Paragould Laundry
Dry Cleaners. R. L. Carpenter owned the business from 1914 to 1949.
J. R. Langley, first employed at the
business in 1918, purchased the business with Harold Scott in 1949.
Langley retired in 1955, when Rube Beadles bought the business with
Scott. Beadles, who had been with the company since he was 7 years old,
retired in 1978.
Jerry and Cheryl Buck, who have
been with the company for 21 years, are the current owners and
Delivery service has been at the Paragould Laundry Dry Cleaners dating
back to horse and wagon in 1912.
M.F. Block Co.
M.F.Block Co. was established by
Maurice F. Block in July 1914 and for
most of its history used the trade name M.F. Block & Co. Block, whose
career spanned more than 50 years, was active in the business until his
death in January 1965.
|Trice Brothers Furniture was the scene of this outpouring of
public curiosity. A political rally? Religious revival? Nope. A
sewing machine demonstration. The name of the latest model was
"The Free." Hence, the sign
Photo courtesy: Bill and Harlan Trice
| The original location was 210
S. Pruett St. During the 1920s the office was moved to 112 W.
Emer-son St. where it remained until April 1974, when it was
moved to its cur-rent location at 216 W. Emerson.
During the Depression, it became
extremely difficult for the cotton ginners in southeast Missouri
to purchase insurance. Realizing this, Block established and
man-aged a "Gin Pool" which made the purchase of insurance
available to these cotton gins. The pool was composed of several
domestic insurance compan-ies as well as Lloyd's of London and
at the height of its existence insured more than 100 cotton
The present owner, Bill Block, is the son of M. F. Block and joined
his father in April 1952. He was joined in the business by his
son, Jeff Block, in June, 1974.
Wendell Eubanks Oil Co.
Wendell Eubanks Oil Co. at 523
Bradburn St. was established in 1923 by a Mr. Quackenbush. He
operated the business from then until 1934. J.S. Horne took over
from 1934 until July 1, 1971, when Eubanks bought the business.
The company is a jobber of Gulf oil
J.E. Wilbourn and Sons Inc.
J. E. Wilbourn and Sons Inc. was
started on Oct. 20, 1923. Operators
were James E. Wilbourn and his two
sons, C. Eugene and W. C.
The first location was at the corner
of South Pruett and Emerson streets,
while a new building was being com-
pleted at 219 E. Court St.
For health reasons, C.E.Wilbourn
moved to another climate, and Franklin E. Wilbourn took his
place. Although the big bust of 1929 was hard on the new
business, by 1930 it had grown enough to incorporate.
On June 15, 1933, J.E. died and his
.wife, Betty Claunch Wilbourn, be-came the principal stock
|| one of the officers. On Dec.
13, 1947, because of growth, the direc-tors voted to increase
the capital stock from $30,000 to $60,000.For this growth, more
room was needed
and the firm purchased a building at the rear of Belk for
warehouse storage. On May 10, 1960, the firm sold this building
and purchased the Arkansas utility building on East Emerson
Street and Third Avenue. Present officers are Joe E. Wilbourn,
president; Betty Wilbourn Johnson, secretary/treasurer; and
Charles S. Johnson, general manager.
Pillow Oil Co. Inc.
Arthur Pillow established Pillow Oil
Co. Inc. in 1926. Douglas Pillow owned and operated the business
from 1951 to 1982. His son, Arthur W. Pillow, now owns the Exxon
distributorship, which is located at South Second and West Vine
Barton's of Paragould
Barton's of Paragould on U.S. Hwy. 49 was established in June 1928
under the name Paragould Lumber Co. It was located at 111 E.
Poplar St. until it moved to its present location in April 1974.
Freddie Smith is the manager and
Mitchell Smith is assistant manager.
The business is owned by E.C. Barton and Co. of Jonesboro.
Piggott Federal Savings and Loan
Piggott Federal Savings and Loan
Association was established by Ella
Mowery in 1932 as Piggott Building
and Loan. The association estab-lished a branch in Paragould on
June 6, 1979, at U.S. Hwy. 49 and West Court Street.
Georgia Lingle is the manager of the Piggott office and Tommy
manages the Paragould branch.
Continued on Page 10