Bricks and building supplies cement Barton’s early beginnings in Jonesboro

Bricks and building supplies cement Barton’s early beginnings in Jonesboro
Al Poston discovered this photo and contributed it to the Craighead County Historical Society archives. (Source: Al Poston)
Al Poston discovered this photo and contributed it to the Craighead County Historical Society archives. (Source: Al Poston)
E.C. Barton, son of P.C. Barton. (Source: Craighead County Historical Society)
E.C. Barton, son of P.C. Barton. (Source: Craighead County Historical Society)
P.C. Barton, father of E.C. Barton and founder of Barton's. (Source: Craighead County Historical Society)
P.C. Barton, father of E.C. Barton and founder of Barton's. (Source: Craighead County Historical Society)
Barton's logo depicting E.C. Barton. (Source: Craighead County Historical Society)
Barton's logo depicting E.C. Barton. (Source: Craighead County Historical Society)

A dog-eared sepia tone photo shows E.C.  Barton and Company building in 1907.

“This building was built in 1904,” W. Danny Honnoll, President of the Craighead County Historical Society said. “The business actually dates back to 1885.”

The company didn’t start with building supplies.

“Mr. Barton, he got into the grocery business. He started off like Sears and Roebuck,”  Honnoll said. “But, he started off small. Then he got into the lumber business and that was more profitable. So if you notice on the window, it says lumber and brick company. He got into bricks and some of the bricks was bought at Barton’s Lumber Company.”

Barton’s Lumber was in its infancy back then.

“They’re in 17 states with 107 locations now,” Honnoll said. “The different locations are not called Barton’s. They’re called other names. It’s just kind of morphed into a gigantic corporation. Barton’s story has been told several times throughout the years.”

The history of Jonesboro and Barton’s role in it will be the subject of discussion at the next meeting of the Craighead County Historical Society. The meeting happens at 7 p.m. at the First Baptist Church in Jonesboro on Monday, July 2.

D. Chris Gardner is the guest speaker for the meeting. He will present the history of E.C. Barton and Company. Barton’s President Steven Brimmer will also be part of the program.

Honnoll points out that this is not the first time Barton’s history has been recognized as an integral piece of Craighead County history.

“Roy Jolly gave a program back in 1987,” Honnoll said. “Back then, they had 33 locations.  Now, they’re up to 107. So, in the 30 some odd years, they have grown and tripled in size.”

If you would like to become a member of the Craighead County Historical Society, it costs $20 annually. Contact Danny Honnoll at 870-926-2985 or email danny@honnoll.com.

The Craighead County Historical Society also has a bound book of local history available for $40. The CCHS meeting is open to the public.

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