|2012 Photo Courtesy of Bettie Hatcher Cox, a descendant of the Beckers and McGraths|
Later, sometime in the 1880s, the store, a stock company, became Becker, Lyell and McGrath.
Some ten years later, the Beckers turned their attention and business acumen toward Brookhaven, where they opened a commercial bank in 1887. Mr. Lyell remained in Wesson to operate the store, which was rather large for the times and offered just about everything the townspeople of Wesson could need.
(The McGraths, who were related to the Beckers by marriage, started the largest department store between Memphis and New Orleans in 1878 in Brookhaven, which is ten miles south of Wesson. Please see this Sippiana link for further reading.)
|The old building as it appears today.|
|A more prosperous time ... From the Wesson Library|
Today the Wesson store lives on as an antiques mall and the old sign is clearly visible on the rear of the building, as the above photograph shows. The building's wooden floors creak and pop with each step and the second floor, which probably served as the warehouse for the display floor below is a monument to wood darkened with age, but the entire expanse is surprisingly light-filled.
My fellow blogger LindaRe, who hails from the area, recently featured this old store in her blog and has posted several interior photographs of the building. Please see this link to view those.
A special thank you to Bettie Hatcher Cox for the history and for forwarding this picture, which I had failed to snap with my camera my last visit there.