Green Braselton died this past Saturday. He was a true Southern gentleman and he lived to be 100 years old. If you read his obituary in our local newspaper you will also be rewarded by seeing his photo. You may read the obituary from the Rockdale Citizen here. I am happy to tell you that I had the pleasure of speaking with Mr. Braselton over the past 14 years or so and you could not ask to meet a finer man. I love this line from his obituary, " He had many friends and he loved them all". And I also love that he called his wife, "The Babe"!
When I first met him, and he told me his name, I teased him a bit about his name, asking if he owned the town by the same name. "Well...." was his modest reply, and of course, I knew that meant that he was too polite to tell me the background of his family so I had to do a bit of background reading...
For me, the story of his family sounds like a wonderful outline for a historical novel.
In 1876, William Harrison Braselton, who was a poor dirt farmer, married Susan Hosch, the daughter of a rich plantation owner. Braselton built a house on 786 acres that he purchased that was just north of the Hosch Plantation. Harrison and Susan Braselton had three sons, William Henry, Green and John. In 1887, John, the youngest son of William and Susan, began selling goods to the workers on the farm out of a small 6ft by 6ft building. (He was only 8 years old!) Later, the business expanded and his two older brothers joined him. This business became known as the Braselton Brothers Store and was a well respected and much loved business. The company was one of the first to extend customer credit and to have the most up to date goods. The business grew and grew and they built a beautiful brick building covering over 70,000 square feet in 1904. These three brothers, or the Three B's, as they were called, were ahead of their time...their store was almost one stop shopping...departments for clothing, food, furniture, toys, hardware, linens, housewares, gifts, and there was also room for the local bank!
You might notice that the middle brother was named Green, so I believe that Mr. Green Braselton who was born in 1914 would be his son. I find this kind of family history quite interesting and I find it especially fascinating since I met this man and liked him very much. It makes me see why this business was so very popular. I am sure that the brothers were just as charming and gracious as I found Mr. Green Braselton to be. Honestly, can't you just see this become a best-selling book or very popular movie?