O. H. Polley Mercantile, Inc.


Long Time Polley Employees - Serving Shelby County for 50 Years



Front Row L-R

Maude Parmer - Who with her husband G. L. Parmer, first to establish a dry goods store in Center
Bessie Cade - Widow of Charlie Cade.
Mrs. J. E. Harper - Sister of Mrs. M. B. Simon, whose father was Ben Alford, former Shelby County Clerk
Mona Jones Campbell - Wife of James Campbell - Daughter of H. H. Jones
H. H. Jones - Parents established store with a record of the Dry Goods Business longer than other

Second Row L - R

M. B. Simon - Prominent in business, Church and civic organizations
Mrs. M. B. Simon - Cashier at Polley's after the retirement of Lucille Swanzy Haley
Mrs. Jewel Jetton - A longtime Polley employee, whose husband Jewell, a barber
J. E. Harper - Prominent in church and business

Back Row L - R

Jack Harper - Longtime employee
Scott Massey - Son of Cecil and Mary Eldred Jones Massey, grandson of H. H. Jones


            After fifty years, from 1919 - 1969, Mr. H. H. Jones made a hard decision to close the Dry Goods Store, O. H. Polley Mercantile, Inc. The original three investors was O. H. Polley, Sr., H. H. Jones, Sr. and M. B. Simon.  Their beginning was in 1919 when they bought the business from C. C. Locke Company, who had been in business since 1911.
            The three men began began operating under the name O. H. Polley Mercantile Inc., January 1, 1920.  Mr. O. H. Polley, Sr. served as president until his death in 1930.  Mrs. H. H. Jones, Sr. was president from 1930 until her death in 1965.  Mr. Henry Runnels was vice-president until his death in the early sixties. Mr. H. H. Jones, Jr. became president in 1965 and served until closing in 1969. Mr. O. H. Polley, Jr. was Vice President.
            Mr. Simon, who managed the store until his retirement in 1968, took the utmost care in selecting merchandise suitable to his customers liking. He tried to run a store with popular price merchandise that people could afford, and he was careful not to let prices rise beyond the reach of the Consumers.
            Some of the earlier employees: M. B. Simon, Arther Sanders. John Matthews, Byron Matthews, Lewis Leim, Thelma Gibson, Eddie Booth, Willie Crawford, Lucille Swanzy Haley and Thelma Corbitt.  Other employees at time of closing: Jack Price, Renna Jetton, Bessie Cade, Inez Harper, Mrs. M. B. Simon, and Scott Massey.
            The O. H. Polley store was located, next to John C. Rogers Drug and Perry Brothers.  People look back in memory and refer to the site, not as O. H. Polley, but they will point and remark  That's where Mr. Simon's store use to be. 

Edited from the East Texas Light/Tommy Doggett