Franklin merchants are ready for Christmas

Published 12:09 pm Thursday, December 23, 2021

By Clyde Parker

DECEMBER 16, 1921

Christmas 1921 is upon us. As usual, Santa Claus is expected despite hard times. Franklin merchants are enjoying good holiday trade from many town and county shoppers. Franklin is considered, by many, to be the number one shopping center for a radius of more than 25 miles. Stores here offer a wide variety of everything needed for the whole family. Reduced prices prevail in all lines of goods.

The Christmas spirit and Christmas shopping in Franklin are running very little behind normal years, judging by the number of people on our streets all week and the many interesting-looking packages peculiar to the season. 

Here is a sampling of what is available right here in downtown Franklin:

Powell Brothers, at 206 North Main St., whose neat little jewelry shop is one of our town’s creditable mercantile establishments, have announced a flat reduction of 20 percent on all jewelry, for cash, and are offering remarkable values. Favorite gift purchases over their counters have been women’s wrist watches in white, yellow and green gold; women’s birthstone rings; lavalieres; and several designs in Seth-Thomas mantle clocks. Their “Victrola” department has been well patronized, along with a fine selection of records.

Jones-Hayes Company, at 202 North Main St., is always ready for the discriminate shopper. Mr. E. P. (“Mr. Phil”) Jones, who operates under the well-known slogan / trademark as “Franklin’s Biggest and Best Store,” has sounded the keynote in sensible shopping by offering his entire large and stylish stock of ladies’ coat-suits, coats and dresses at half-price. Their specially reduced prices on men’s clothing and on all shoes are attracting many people.

Right next door, at 200 North Main St., is W. T. Pace Hardware. Its big show windows offer a wealth of useful and beautiful gift suggestions, such as casseroles, carving sets, chafing dishes, fine cutlery, flashlights. Mr. Pace has a well-selected assortment of guns, rifles, ammunition, hunting coats, leggings, and other hunters’ supplies. He is offering good quality automobile robes at greatly reduced prices.  While talking of useful presents, Franklin’s pioneer hardware man remarked that one of the very finest gifts imaginable, for the comfort and well-being of the entire family, would be one of his famous wood-burning “Majestic” cooking ranges. He also has a good selection of children’s automobiles and play wagons.

Solid comforts for the home are everywhere in evidence at W. H. Lankford & Company’s big furniture store at the southwestern corner of Main Street and Second Avenue. They have comfortable, roomy and inviting rockers; new and popular reed and willow pieces – in chairs and whole suites; beautiful odd pieces of furniture to fit into any nook and corner; and several ever-popular floor lamps. There are many types of floor coverings to choose from. Specially priced toys of all kinds including wagons, velocipede bicycles and “kiddie-Kars” fill the big corner window. 

Across and down the street, at 108 North Main St., is G. H. Steinhardt & Co. which, undeniably, may be termed Franklin’s toy headquarters this year; and, if Santa Claus fails to find there what the little folks want, he may well despair of filling his pack. Their toys are priced at figures which will appeal to every buyer. Playthings of every description are available for both boys and girls. Steinhardt’s is especially well-stocked in many useful things for men and women, including: rifles, shotguns, safety razors from $1 to $5, shaving sets, pocketknives, fancy China, dinnerware, percolators, serving trays in wood and metal, nut sets, electric irons, nickel ware, electric heating pads and aluminum hot water bottles. Sporting goods are there, too, for the manly boy and girl — including skates, footballs, and tennis rackets. 

And just a hop and a skip from Steinhardt’s is George Parker’s venerable Parker Drug Co., at 102 North Main St., which, as always, can be depended upon for very nice Christmas gifts — not only pharmaceuticals, toiletries and candies but also a good selection of stationery and Christmas cards. This year, Mr. Parker has on hand a good supply of books of various kinds — including those suitable for children. He is prepared, as usual, to take orders for flowers to be delivered to homes on Christmas MorningAnd, cigars in gift boxes are available.

At 106 North Main St., is the clothing store operated by Joe Bynum Gay who is known as “The Man with the Goods”. This year, he is offering a wide variety of merchandise and is cutting the prices deep. A leader in furs, he is cutting the prices in half; and he has material reductions on cloaks, coat-suits, shoes, etc. One may find here scores of suitable small articles like handkerchiefs, ties, gloves, shawls, silk and woolen hose, perfumes and powders.

For those people traveling here from outlying areas, Rawls’ Garage on Fourth Avenue can always be depended upon to offer emergency automobile repair and assistance. And, of course, for those who want a big Christmas gift, Sol Rawls maintains a wide range of Chevrolet automobiles – including a roadster at $600, a sedan at $970 and a touring car at $600.

Although business depression in 1921 has been felt by everyone, it has not been sufficiently severe to quench the Christmas spirit nor the desire to commemorate this age-long Christian festival in the usual way.

CLYDE PARKER is a retired human resources manager for the former Franklin Equipment Co. and a member of the Southampton County Historical Society. His email address is