J.N. Puckett Store, Eagleville, Tennessee

By Don McCord and Bobbie Sue Shelton, ‘Eagville’

At the intersection of Highway 99 and Mt. Pleasant Road (present day) was a community that was established first as ‘Needmore’.  There was a general store on the north side of the road opposite the Puckett Store of later years.  The grocery store was always short of supplies so the people called it ‘Needmore’.

A Needmore post office was established.  The first storeowners here were Willie and Charlie Gillespie.  In 1893 a general store of merchandise was opened under the name of Puckett & Gillespie; both men were young and inexperienced in merchandising.  They borrowed $300 from the First National Bank of Murfreesboro (Tennessee); this loan was secured by J.N. Puckett, father of Willie Puckett, and J.N. Reed.

After about three years Mr. Willie Puckett bought out Mr. Gillespie’s part.  Business was good.  Several homes were built close by.  They increased their stock of goods and business grew.

In 1904 the present building was built.  In 1906 they claimed to have handled 49,317 dozen eggs, selling  merchandise as far away as Murfreesboro.

By 1907 Willie Puckett was operating two peddling wagons and kept a regular freight wagon on the road from Nashville and Murfreesboro.  One could buy feed for livestock, groceries, ladies’ and men’s dress goods, carpeting, rugs, mattings, oils, paints, varnishes, patent medicines, hardware, cutlery, and furniture.  They even sold tractors at one time.

The Pucketts built a racetrack behind the present store located on the comer and races were held every Saturday night.  The Pucketts gave prizes to the winner of the races.  It is said that the Pucketts had a bell in their back yard, which they would ring when they needed workers.  “‘The people in the neighborhood, when they heard the bell, would run from the woods to the store to get a paying job.

There was a post office in the store at one time.  After the Pucketts operated the store, it was known    as Puckett, TN.  The store closed in 1950.  Edgar Lee Frost purchased the store in 1954.  He built an apartment on the second floor where his family lived.  Edgar operated a store here until 1962.

Around 1976 Eagleville Community Care Center converted the old store into a full second story building.

The Bean family took care of Veterans there for many years.  Dan Helton and family have operated it for the past 3-4 years taking care of 27 people.  Wife: Karen; Children: Jessica, Sarah, and Rickey.

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