STORY TAKEN FROM THE 18TH ANNUAL
LULA RAILROAD DAYS FESTIVAL BOOKLET
MAY 21 & 22, 1994
LULA AREA BETTERMENT ASSOCIATION
Lula has always been known as a booming railroad town. In the early 1920's before the merger of Lula and Belton, these two small towns was famous for family owned businesses. There was as many as twenty plus stores in both cities. Belton had many Historic landmarks, such as General Merchandise Stores, Large Train Depot, Post Office, Blacksmith Shop, Hat Boutique and most inportant a Doctor's Office, The Doctor's Office was also his home. Most of these landmarks have been torn down and replaced with residential homes. One of the Larger Merchandising Sores was Patton Brothers, owned by Andrew and Mae Patton, Marshall and Flora Patton. Patton Bros was in business for several years, until the death of Andrew Patton. He was killed directly in front of his store. The Automobile ran over him and then left the scene of the accident. This was very unusally because automobiles were not plentifully in those days. This happened in June 1933. Dry Boods of Merchandising Stores carried a full line of all types of goods from a small spool of thread to piece goods, ready made clothes, groceries, dishes, gas, and oil, fertilizer and feed for livestock and much, much more. Depression glass was given as a premium with some items bought. Depression glass was sent to the stores packed in large barrels. In those days, if you needed to be away from your business, you asked a neighbor to mind the store. Neighbors and friends such as Hudson and Mae Terrell, Grady and Mattie Sims, Rad and Irene Garrison. William and Jane Echols and Many others would gladly help you out. Grady and Mattie Sims also operated a dry goods store, along with a Hat Boutique. If needed, they would mind the store, Hudson Terrell was an engineer for Southern Railway and Rad Garrison was the rural Mail Carrier. Both men were never too far away to support his town. William Echols was Justice of the Peace and helped with all Legal matters. In the 1900's cotton was exported from the Belton Depot. The Patton Brothers were real instrumental in the sale of cotton through their merchandising store. Some of the landmark homes and businesses are still standing. The Rad Garrison Home, The Hudson Terrell Home, Dr. Quillian Home and the Old Post Office Building. The railroad was very much a part of the employment for Belton and Lula in the early 1930's. The railroad tracks were maintained by section crews, which consisted of about four to six men and a section foreman. John Jones was section foreman and many local men worked with him. Ted Dodd, W.F. Stone, George Bramblett, Ben Ivie and others. Maggie Jones, wife of John Jones, was Postmaster and also operated a General Merchandising Store For many years. In 1936, Belton Depot was sold and trains only stopped in Lula. In 1955, Belton and Lula merged into one city, known as Lula.
Information compiled from: Mae Patton Dodd May 12, 1994