Friday, May 2, 2008

Baldwyn Businesses - Brownie's Blue Top

click to enlarge
Photos - Milton Copeland

These photos are from about 1943 or 44 as best as can be determined. Jack Hamblin Junior and Milton "Brownie" Coggins were in the service station business. Not really sure of their arrangement, but Jack probably worked for Brownie some around this time. They were always close friends.

In the photo you can see building supplies and piles of boards, etc. at the church across the street. It may have been there from the rebuilding after the 1942 tornado (see a previous posting). The service station was demolished in the storm, but looks as if it has recently been rebuilt and reopened. Notice the lightning arresters on top - most stations had those back in that era.

The Blue Top was originally built after the new highway was completed through town around 1937. It was built after the Standard station, immediately south, which was built in 1936. Harliss Rutherford was working for Brownie when the storm occurred. Harliss later owned and operated the Standard station for many years.

Jack Junior and Mort Gardner were in the service station business later and further south at the corner of US45 and Water Street.

Brownie operated this business until his death. It was a very busy place in the 50s. He bought and used the first tool in Baldwyn that put water and air in tractor tires. The water was used as ballast weight to assist with traction on muddy roads and fields.

The ladies are identified, but I have misplaced their names. Please help us with that, Milton Copeland. Can anyone identify the unnamed attendant? Someone thought Mitchell Putt, but if so, he was still in high school as he played on the 1948 Bearcat basketball team that won the Championship.



  1. Brownie was fleet afoot like only Jimmy Ewell Rutherford amongst his relatives. Jack Jr looked good and still does at age 84 or so. A lifetime of quail hunting is good for you.

  2. The person with Brownie and Jack Jr. may be Peewee Morris, who worked for Brownie for several years. Peewee (James) is the brother of Jack and Charles Morris (both now deceased). He is married to my sister Agnes, and was working for Brownie when they got married. He later worked for several years as an electrician at Rockwell in Tupelo. Agnes and Peewee now live in the Camp Creek community, south of Bethany.

  3. milton copelandMay 2, 2008 at 7:31 PM

    Carl, I have 8 or 10 of these pictures that Dad (Curly) took.

    Besides Jack Jr. is Bertha Faye Stephenson, Mark Rutherford Jr. and hiding behind the bush is Dad's sister Dorothy Copeland.

    Bertha Faye was the sister of Hollis "Red" Stephenson, Dad's best friend in high school.

    I've been told that since Dad was cotton headed and Red was, well, shocking red haired, they would play football without their helmets so they could spot one another on the field for passing the ball. Not sure if you could get away with that in the thirties or not.