History of Taylor Grocery & Restaurant
The South’s Best Catfish
Taylor Grocery was built around 1889 by Duff Ragland. The store was originally a dry goods store. Will Walker bought the store from Ragland and it operated as a dry goods store until around 1930. It was then sold to Joe Powell who sold it to the Jim Hamilton family. They rented the store to Gid Hurdle who operated it as a general store paying rent of $5.00 a month.
When I was a boy growing up in Taylor, Mr. Elton McCain had a barber chair in the rear of Mr. Browning’s store were he cut hair on Saturdays. My grandfather, Chandler Karr, owned and operated the general store next door which is now Bill Beckwith’s studio. One could buy anything needed to live and make a crop in Taylor.
After Mr. Browning’s death the store was unoccupied for a short period of time. Phil Maples opened it as a small general store. Folks around Taylor has always eaten catfish but in June 1977, Jerry and Evie Wilson decided to try and make some money out of cooking and selling catfish. They began cooking catfish a couple of buildings down in the old Hardin store, now our local sculptor Bill Beckwith’s home. They bought Mr. Maple’s business here and opened the first Taylor Catfish restaurant. There have been other business dealings regarding Taylor Grocery through the years but Mary Katherine Hudson made Taylor, Mississippi a name for catfish when she ran the catfish restaurant here for 17 to 18 years. Even with all the changes of owners and operators through the years, the unique charm of Taylor and the quality of food remain the same. Debbie and I would like to thank you for your support. Your patronage allows us to remain a part of the unique community that is TAYLOR!
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Lynn and Debbie Hewlett