Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

Living

May 8, 2009

Marja’s Brassiere Co. has quite a history

By Deborah Burkett

Cherokee County Historical Commission



For years Cherokee County women worked at Marja’s Brassiere Company to provide additional income for their families. These women were ahead of their time. They made bras they didn’t burn them; but, were strong independent women none the less. The Cherokee County Historical Commission (CCHC) is pleased to provide a look back at one of the major businesses which started in Jacksonville 70 years ago. The impetus for this article was a box of old photographs given to Shelley Cleaver by Lindsey Kirkpatrick-Terry, owner of Tigerlillies, a floral shop at 109 East Commerce Street in Jacksonville. Lindsey, a lover of antiques, had found a wooden fruit box that she just had to have. The box was filled with old, soiled photographs. The entire price of purchase was $1.00. Lindsey kept the antique box and asked her mother, Peggy, if she knew of someone who might want the pictures. Lindsey was also looking for historical information about the building where her new business resided. Shelly Cleaver, a member of CCHC was contacted.

What can old photographs tell us? It depends. Can the images be placed in context and can people be located who still remember these times? Fortune was smiling in this case. Many of these “found” photographs were dated and included the name Marja’s; a name recognizable to many because their mothers or grandmothers had worked there.

In 1903 Margia Childs was born into a successful business family in Jacksonville, Texas. She was the daughter of Carter and Minnie Lattimore Childs. Carter’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. C. C. Childs, had moved their family from Fairfield, Texas to Jacksonville in 1900 and purchased a grocery store, which C.C. later sold to his sons Obie and Carter. This was the beginning of the Childs Brothers Grocery Stores. This enterprise became a chain of 35 supermarkets in Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana. The chain eventually sold to the Kroger Company.

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