Business History Month: Blacklands Railroad
Mar24

Business History Month: Blacklands Railroad

Blacklands Railroad started in 1999 by Wayne Defebaugh who opened the business after the state-owned railroad running through Sulphur Springs was looking to be abandoned and needed an operator. He quickly leased the track and began his shortline railroad in the middle of the town. He owns the locomotives and provides the crews to work the railroad. “My father was retired from the railroad as a conductor out of Kansas...

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Business History Month: Reilly Springs Jamboree
Mar22

Business History Month: Reilly Springs Jamboree

It may be off the beaten path, but the Reilly Springs Jamboree remains contentedly at home in the country near Hopkins County’s southeastern border. The show’s slogan “Hopkins County’s original music venue” harks back to the Autumn of 1956, when a couple of local musicians, Bob and Joe (Attlesey) Shelton put the abandoned Reilly Springs schoolhouse back to work as their concert hall. The brothers and...

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Business History Month: Osborn’s Jewelry
Mar21

Business History Month: Osborn’s Jewelry

Trudy Osborn found her first job in a jewelry store called Gold Connection in Sulphur Springs’ Windsor Plaza Shopping Center. She learned on-the-job about jewelry repair from owners Betsy and Jerry Whitson, who were also her in-laws. Her apprenticeship ended when she moved back to the Metroplex, and it was quite a few years later when Trudy Osborn decided to open her own shop. In 2001, Trudy returned to the Windsor Plaza...

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Jay Hodge Chevrolet Ribbon Cutting
Mar17

Jay Hodge Chevrolet Ribbon Cutting

  Thursday marked the official grand opening for Jay Hodge Chevrolet in Sulphur Springs. Owner Jay Hodge, pictured in the center of the photograph above, spoke about the excitement surrounding the opening and thanked those who played a vital role in the building and opening process. Hodge added that the future is bright for the Chevrolet dealership.   Share...

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Business History Month: ABC Autoplex
Mar17

Business History Month: ABC Autoplex

ABC Autoplex opened its doors in May 2002 by Ronnie Parris who is now in charge of sales at the auto dealership. He started the business after working for a number of years in sales for Price Ford dealership in the sales division. “I sold cars at the Ford dealership here for about 13 years and they sold out, so we came over here and built this.” Parris said. “I had another partner at the time, Holly Swatsell, he...

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Business History Month: Northeast Texas Farmers Cooperative
Mar16

Business History Month: Northeast Texas Farmers Cooperative

In 1939, Farmers Cooperative Gin Association of Sulphur Springs was founded by the State of Texas. This local agricultural cooperative was charged by its founding members/patrons to serve the predominant Cotton Industry of Hopkins County and Northeast Texas. With a governance structure of a 5-man board of directors and a 100% local ownership, the “Co-op”, as it became generically known, assisted in the evolution of...

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Business History Month: Good News Bookstore
Mar15

Business History Month: Good News Bookstore

In 1974 Thee Christian Bookstore, originally known as Words of Life Bookstore, was opened by Harlan Harred, Mark Miller, and Bill Watts at 319 Main Street. The three were Christian businessmen who saw the need for a Christian bookstore in the city of Sulphur Springs and began pulling their money together to make it happen. The store was nonprofit and the men had one paid employee, their store manager, Bobbie Galligher. In 1976, Gena...

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Vandergriff Keynotes I-30 Corridor, TEX-21 Meeting
Mar14

Vandergriff Keynotes I-30 Corridor, TEX-21 Meeting

TEX-21 and the I-30 Corridor Task Force will meet Friday, March 18, 2016, at Texarkana College in the Patman Room of the Truman Arnold Student Center to consider updates on freight movement, the effect of the Panama Canal Expansion on freight movement on Interstate 30, and hear an update on transportation funding. Keynote speaker for the event is Texas Transportation Commissioner Victor Vandergriff. TEX-21 is a statewide organization...

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Business History Month: IdziBitsy Bakery
Mar11

Business History Month: IdziBitsy Bakery

IdziBitsy Bakery is a hometown, “Hopkins County owned, Hopkins County grown” custom bakery in downtown Sulphur Springs, Texas owned by Michelle Idzi. Michelle Idzi’s great great uncle owned a bakery in Louisiana and when he decided to retire in the early 1980s, her grandmother then bought the business deeming her grandmother a second generation baker. While Michelle’s mom was in school full-time her youngest...

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Business History Month: Shoe Inn Etc.
Mar10

Business History Month: Shoe Inn Etc.

The Shoe Inn began exactly where it is now: The Windsor Plaza. The Shoe Inn first opened it’s doors in February of 1986 as one of the first businesses in the plaza, offering the best location to be had in Sulphur Springs at that time. “Everything was new in our shopping center,” Owens said. “That created a lot of curiosity for people, and people just came to check us out and they’re still with us.”...

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