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Feb 06

Furniture-Furniture-Furniture (Part II)

Posted on February 6, 2023 at 12:26 PM by Ken Kocher

Furniture-Furniture-Furniture Part One covered the first two phases of the evolution of the business started by W.H. Adams bringing us to September 10, 1943, when the Madisonian announced an “Important Business Deal.” The deal reported: the sale of Stovall Furniture, building and stock, to J.D. Harris, Sr. with his son, J.D. Harris, Jr. managing the store as the Harris Furniture Store. The paper later reported that Mrs. J.D. Harris, Jr. assisted in the operation of the store providing the “cultured, pleasing touch so much needed in the sale of furniture and the arrangement of the home.” Five years later, Harris Furniture was the first in Madison to sell television set that was purchased by Guy Thurmond for his home on East Avenue.

Harris Furniture showroom and parking

While there were small setbacks to be dealt with – the safe blown open by a yeggman (yeah, we had to look that up too) and water damage from the Farmers Hardware fire next door – Harris Furniture was always progressing. They added “an enormous lighted sign” to the front of the store, opened a used furniture store across the street, demolished the lumber shed to their right for a parking lot, and added a two-level addition to the rear of the building. The upper level of the addition contained seven themed display rooms. J.D. Harris owned this anchor business in downtown Madison for over thirty years.

Harris Furniture c. 1990

Then, in 1974, twenty-year employee Mark Mason purchased the business bringing onboard his nephew Charles Tamplin and eight-year employee Bob Bradberry as partners. Mason continued to operate under the Harris Furniture name. About a decade later, the business expanded into the adjoining Farmers Hardware building moving the used furniture sales from across the street. Now with 10,000 square feet of showroom, office, and service areas, plus the parking lot, this retail operation occupied nearly the entire Jefferson Street side of this block.

Twenty years later, another generation would take-up the reins in 1993. Just as Mr. Mason was ready to retire, Charles Tamplin had an accidental death. His daughter, Christy Henry, and son-in-law, Nelson Hale joined forces with Bob Bradberry to continue the business. With the coming of a new century, Harris Furniture moved out of downtown to a new building at 1590 Eatonton Road eventually changing the name to Harris Home Furnishings. May 2015 saw the closing of the store 108 years after W.H. Adams started selling furniture in Madison.

Harris Home Furnishings


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