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History: The story & Lineage of C.R. Hutchison & Sons

The story of a mainstay of Downtown Columbia, C.R. Hutchison & Sons, began in 1909 and served Columbia and Adair County beyond C.R. Hutchison's death in 1950 and the sale of the business in 1974 to Donald Harvey and James Lewis Moore. With many notes on ties to old Columbia families: The Pattesons, the Bargers, and the Flowers- even the little known source of the "P" in Dr. Ron P. Rogers name and more on the better known Greensburg, KY Fount Pendleton family tie to the Hutchisons. - EW

By Prudence Hutchison Westholm
Written in response to Jim's article The lineage of a grocery store (1903-1918)

Being the genealogy and local history lover that I am, I began reading your excellent account of the lineage of a grocery store on the square in Columbia in the early 20th century.

Not until I almost finished reading your interesting account did I realize that the final owner was my paternal grandfather, C.R. (Charles Robert) Hutchison.

Grandfather established grocery in 1909

I knew he established his business in 1909 beginning with groceries and some hardware; then later on he dropped the grocery line and continued on with the hardware business until his death in 1950. Sadly, I was a baby when he passed away, so I never got the opportunity to know him. I do know he was a devoted family man and faithful member of the Columbia Christian Church and a honest and successful businessman.

Writer's father told business' move across the Square following Great Fire

My dad, Raymond Hutchison, had told us about the great fire that was in the Bank of Columbia corner and that "Pappy" had relocated across the square to the Russell Building, where Lerman Bros. was in my childhood, correct?

Then C. R. Hutchison & Sons was established with a brick building (as C.R. Hutchison had promised in the Adair County News account that Jim mentions) two doors down from Collins Corner Drug.

I am not sure of the time frame when he moved his hardware store to that final location. (324 Public Square). My dad, Raymond Hutchison, began working in the grocery/hardware business in 1926 at age 18 and worked to buy 1/32nd of the store.

In the following years, he continued to work in the business and to buy more shares.

Raymond Hutchison eventually was sole owner

His brothers, Uncle Edwin and Uncle Robert also worked and bought into the hardware store and in later years following the death of my grandfather, first Uncle Robert then Uncle Edwin sold their shares or interests in the business to my dad, Raymond Hutchison.

My Uncle Edwin Hutchison was married to Eva Walker Hutchison, daughter of Allen Walker. They had no children. My Uncle Robert was married to Pauline Walker Hutchison, sister of Harbert Walker. They had one son, Robert Henry Hutchison, Jr., a local attorney until his death.

Raymond Hutchison foresaw bypass

My dad sold the hardware business to Donald Harvey and James Lewis Moore in June 1974. He predicted that Columbia would have a bypass someday and that many businesses would be located off the square.

When he retired in 1974, he had worked 48 1/2 years in the business. He also was a John Deere tractor dealer for several years and sold many tractors to Adair County farmers.

The John Deere dealership was conducted in the building behind the hardware store with a walking bridge connecting the two buildings over the alley.

Raymond Hutchison was honest, successful businessman

He was an honest, fair and successful businessman and a devoted family man.

Also he was a dedicated member, deacon and then elder of the Columbia Christian Church and served as the treasurer of the Sunday School for many years with Paul Webb as his assistant.

He was married to my mother, Anna Pendleton Hutchison, daughter of J. F. "Fount" Pendleton, of Greensburg. She came to Columbia in 1936 to attend Lindsey Wilson College and they married on June 25, 1938, after she graduated from LWC. My mother taught in the Adair County School System for almost 30 years. He died in May 1995 and she in July 1974.

Following my mother's death, my dad married Clarice Mackey Glidewell from Burkesville. She died in August 1994.

Thanks to Jim, for eloquent essay

I thank you, Jim, for such an eloquent essay so wonderfully written and to Ed and Linda Waggener for providing Columbia Magazine as a forum for our early Columbia history.

I knew my grandfather bought the very first business interest and established his business in 1909. He moved his family to town from Cane Valley, from where the Hutchisons originated.

The story was that my grandmother, Emma Flowers Hutchison, was very anxious to move into town (Columbia) where her sister, Rosa Flowers Grissom, resided.

After reading Jim's interesting account, I marvel at the determination and work ethic that my grandfather, C.R. Hutchison, must have certainly possessed to have survived the great fire and then to have sold his store goods out of a section of a hotel before he moved his business across the square.

A few more facts: The Patteson, Barger & Flowers ties

I do want to mention a few more facts. Mr. A.D. Patteson was the father of Mrs. Chelsey (Mary Dee) Barger and thus Pappy's partner for a period. He was also the great-grandfather of Dr. Ronald "Butch" Patteson Rogers.

I know that the two men remained friends until Mr. Patteson's passing.

Mr. Ray Flowers was dignified gentleman; wife Mary taught piano

Mr. Ray Flowers was mentioned in the essay and as a child and in later years, I remember Mr. Ray very well. He was such a dignified and polite gentleman. His wife, Mrs. May Flowers, was my piano teacher and I took my lessons at her beautiful home on Greensburg St. Both were very fine and distinguished citizens of Columbia.

Mrs. Flowers was an accomplished musician and had come to Columbia to teach music at Lindsey Wilson College after having completed her studies at the music conservatory. Mr. Ray Flowers was the uncle of Alfred W. Flowers and thus the great uncle of James, Robert and Joseph Flowers.

C.R. Hutchison conquered trials and tribulations of busiess fire and still carried on the enterprise

Finally, I am glad my grandfather, C.R.Hutchison, did conquer the trials and tribulations of a business fire and continued on to relocate his grocery and hardware business.

I am truly thankful he did not "remove" his family to Florida, Texas or Missouri as so many Kentuckians did in that period. For you see, I am so proud that Columbia is my hometown and I along with my brother, Ray Hutchison, Jr. and my sister, Louella Hutchison Gore, all gained so very much from working "in the store" and being involved in the rich heritage of C.R. Hutchison & Sons hardware store. Thank you.

- Prudence Hutchison Westholm
Elizabethtown, KY.

This story was posted on 2013-02-16 08:26:02
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Scenic Adair Co., KY: Hutchison Community Church

2013-02-18 - 3375 Pelham Road, Columbia, KY - Photo by Ed Waggener.
The Hutchison Community Church
has entered the conversation on as part of the story of the lineage of C.R. Hutchison & Sons story by Prudence Hutchison-Westholm (Click Readmore) and JIM, The lineage of a grocery store (1903-1918). For some, the information may be the first tying the Hutchison Community with this particular branch of the Hutchison Family. The road on which the church is located has a more infamous heritage, it's named for the Pelham Brothers, who met frontier justice, as described in Mike Watson's account, History: Frontier Justice - How Pelham received its name. The church continues to thrive. Details of its current services are in CM Directory of Churches

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