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McWhorter Celebrates Gainesboro Business For 100+ Years

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
McWhorter Celebrates Gainesboro Business For 100+ Years

Tennessee Economic and Community Development Commissioner Stuart McWhorter celebrated a Gainesboro drug store Tuesday for its 100-plus years of service.

The origins of Anderson and Haile Drug Company date back to 1883, with the two principals taking over in 1919. McWhorter said in visiting with the leaders of these centennial businesses, the people are the commonality.

“I mean, there’s a lot of luck to that, but it says something about the people that make that happen, because I know that there are just times along the way that it makes difficult to operate a business,” McWhorter said. “It’s not always an easy thing to do, especially as long as these businesses have been around. But it says a lot about leadership. It says a lot about a commitment to a mission, commitment to the people that work there, commitment to the community.”

Anderson & Haile Drug Owner Teneal Jenkins said in 1883 a Jackson County man purchased a stock of drugs from a Smith County physician who was retiring. A local merchant, Faye Anderson, already had a business going.

“And so he ended up taking on the drugstore business from this doctor,” Jenkins said. “And so just a couple months after, it was considered Anderson’s Drugs. And so then it went through his family. And there was a postman here, Mr. Hale, that received a steady check from the government, and he was good friends with the Andersons and hung out at the drugstore. So he financially backed them. And that was around 1919 that he ended up buying the business, half of the business, and the actual physical building to help them out. So that’s when it became Anderson and Hale is around 1919.”

Jenkins began working at the store in 1995, scooping ice cream.

“And they moved me a week later into the pharmacy as a technician,” Jenkins said. “And I just loved it and just loved bitten and everyone that we worked with. So I decided to become a pharmacist, and I went to school at Tennessee Tech and did my undergrad. And then I went to the University of Tennessee for pharmacy school.”

Six months before graduation, Jenkins received the call to return to Jackson County.

“It just means so much,” Jenkins said. “It’s a honor.”

McWhorter started Tuesday in Pall Mall, visiting the Forbus General Store. The tour celebrating centennial businesses will take place over several weeks, starting in those communities designated as distressed when Governor Bill Lee came into office.

“You know, we, we decided as a department, along with the Governor, that, you know, it was just time to pause for a minute and celebrate the legacies of these businesses that have been around for 100 years, in some cases much longer, as this one,” McWhorter said. “But also recognize the people that made that happen and just take a minute and just say thank you for the longevity and serving the state and serving the community.”


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