Saturday, February 16, 2008

Betts and Sons Store: A 19th Century Fulton Business Landmark for Nearly 60 Years

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Egbert Green Betts was a long-time merchant in Fulton, opening a store at the corner of Main and Cummings streets during the late 1840’s. He was born during February 1826 in North Carolina and died during 1904 in Fulton. On September 5, 1850, he married Harriet Roberts in Fulton. Harriet’s mother was Martha Cummings Roberts, the sister of Malachai Crawford Cummings, considered the father of Fulton who lived at Sunny Dell, his estate north of Cummings Creek about one mile north of the town square in Fulton.

Betts was a captain in Company G, 10th Mississippi Regiment (the Fulton Guards) during the Civil War and was wounded at the Battle of Shiloh. The large two-story antebellum Betts home was located on South Clifton Street in Fulton (near the present-day site of the Fulton Church of Christ).

The Betts dry goods store was a Fulton fixture for nearly 60 years during the 1800’s. After the Civil War, two of Egbert Green Betts’ sons – Albert Cummings Betts and Malachi Cummings Betts, joined the firm that became Betts and Sons. By 1910 Albert Cummings Betts had moved to Amory in Monroe County, where he owned a hardware store and Malachi Cummings Betts is listed in the Tupelo, Lee County census as a grocery clerk.

The above bill of sale was dated November 15th, 1886 and was for items bought by Doctor Newnan Cayce of Fulton.

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