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The barber shop located at 401 1/2 Mulberry Street in Loudon, TN was built in 1953 by the Greer family who had founded Greer’s Furniture several decades before. Bo and Lisette Carey (descendants of the Greers) are now owners of Greer’s Home Furnishings and also owners of the barber shop. The shop was constructed as part of an addition to the furniture store. This addition sealed the open-lot space between the three-building cluster of businesses on Mulberry Street (where Frances Beauty Shop is located at 403 Mulberry Street) and Richesin’s pharmacy (now Southeastern Title and Abstract Company) at the corner of Mulberry and Grove.
The reason there is such an odd address for the barber shop (401 1/2) is due to the fact that the business located at the corner of Mulberry and Grove (formerly Ritchesin’s Pharmacy, now Southeastern Title and Abstract Company) once had its entrance on Mulberry Street and had already claimed 401 as its address. As 403 (the beauty shop) was already claimed as well, the local authorities had to come up with some address for the new barber shop; and as Providence would have it, 401 1/2 was the answer to this perplexing issue. 401 Mulberry Street actually no longer exists as remodeling of Southeastern Title and Abstract Company many years ago moved its main entrance onto Grove Street. We are, however, forever stuck with the 1/2 suffix because changing the address is, I imagine, simply too much trouble. Confined to the if-it-ain’t-broke-don’t-fix-it box we are.
The barber shop was rented to and operated by Sanford Pope from 1953 until 1954 under the name City Barbershop. Mr. Pope opted out of barber shop management one year later and moved on to bigger and better things in life.
It was at this time that the second proprietor of the shop began operations. Gene Dills took over and changed the name of the barber shop to Dill’s Barber Shop and was in charge of the shop for the next twenty-four years until his death in 1978. Mr. Dills passed away from a heart attack while at work in the shop.
After his passing in 1978, Dills’ widow sold her deceased husband’s interest in the business to Ted Watts. For the next sixteen years Watts rented and operated the business under the name Ted’s Barber Shop until 1994 when he decided to retire at the age of sixty-two.
Rex Mingie, the current proprietor, served as a co-worker with Ted Watts from August of 1992 until his retirement in August of 1994. With the exception of a ten-year partnership (now dissolved) with Missy Cooley, Mingie has been the sole proprietor of the barber shop since. Rex’s brother Nik has worked at the shop since August of 1994.