In 1935 my great grandfather opened a furniture store in downtown Ft Worth, Homer Oneal’s Furniture. The building is still a fixture on Jennings St. His philosophy was that a store that carries quality name brands but was still small enough to treat everyone individually would prosper, and it did.
Around the late 70’s or early 80’s, he died and my father and uncle Charles continued to run it. They were the two main salespeople, did all their own ordering, all the accounting, and more often than not, the deliveries themselves. Yet they could to this day remember the name of most of their customers and what they bought.
They later opened a small storefront in Hurst that specialized in chairs, the Chair Emporium. (this is before La-Z-Boy opened dedicated stores) For several years this was about the only specialized furniture store in the DFW. After closing that closed, they bought Days Furniture and Railroad Salvage in the middle of the Stockyards, a store that sold discounted surplus, factory models, and refurbished furniture, though that also closed eventually, also.
In 1999, they closed down the store downtown to open a new building in ritzy Keller, offering design services as well as furniture. Sadly, that will soon be closing as well, putting an end to 70 years of a family owned business. I was never to anxious to get into the business — it never seemed interesting to me — but I always assumed that when I got older I would end up carrying on the family tradition. It surprised me to realize how sad I am that I won’t be.