Ruins of Jenkins General Store, 1906, Harris City

harris city ga ruins of jenkins general store photogrpah copyright brian brown vanishing north georgia usa 2016

George W. Jenkins, Sr., built Jenkins General Store with hand-cut rock to replace its wood frame predecessor. Jenkins was a successful merchant, drawing shoppers from all over the area to Harris City. The business thrived until the early 1920s, when the boll weevil signaled a collapse of the cotton-based agricultural economy. George, Sr, moved to Atlanta and established a small grocery store, less susceptible to the ups-and-downs of the agricultural economy. In the meantime, his son, George, Jr., graduated from Greenville High School and moved to Florida in 1925 to seek his fortune in real estate. He took a job with Piggly Wiggly, however, and after just a couple of months as a clerk he was promoted to manager.  In 1930 he left Piggly Wiggly and opened the first Publix store in Winter Haven. Today, Publix is one of the largest grocery store chains in the nation. I like to think that lessons Mr. Jenkins learned here in Harris City, at his father’s side, helped make him into the successful entrepreneur that he became.

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