Section One    Blocks 1-4


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1. The old courthouse (1897-2003) is on the corner.

  2. Traveling East on Front Street, the first building facing that street was the Jail.
  3. The Agriculture building is next and has housed many local government offices, from the County Agriculture Agent, and other Home Extension programs, to the Health Department, Farmer’s Home Administration, Superintendent of Public Schools, ASCS office. After 1950, the Highway Patrol office, driver’s license examiner, and others were located in this building. Currently  (2003) it houses the Harnett County Personnel Office and the Board of Elections upstairs
  4. Turning left at the corner, there is currently a parking lot where the home of Herb Matthews sat. He was the janitor for the courthouse. This house was also the location of the first Lillington Library begun by the Women’s Club of Lillington. gone)
  5. The next house around the bottom of the hill going north from Mr. Matthews was the home of Eula Parker. (gone)
  6. Coming back to Main Street, the Welfare building stood just above the Courthouse. (gone)
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Facing Hwy 15-A (401/Main Street) on the corner of Main and Front

1. The location of the first drug company, McPherson Drug Company; on the main floor. Later it was Tugwell Drugs.
Before and during World War II, it was a poolroom run by a man named Marvin Canupp.
The next business to occupy the building was Kelly Drug Company.
Upstairs during the early years Attorney Charles Ross had two rooms on the front that were his law offices. M.O. Lee moved into them after Mr. Ross moved out. A room between these two offices was where J. C. Thomson, insurance agent had his office.
Another room in this upstairs space was home to Charlie Johnson, who fixed watches. The entrance to these upstairs offices was on Front Street next to the alley. His jewelry store was on the first floor.

kellydrugandlayton.jpg (13885 bytes) 2. The two-story building known generally as Layton Supply Store had in its upstairs space, Mr. L. M. Chaffin’s law office. Also on this floor were the law offices of Mr. Neill Salmon.
On the street level, J. G. Layton owned the two stores — Layton Supply.
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3. On the first floor of the next building was the post office until the 1960’s when the current post office was built. On the second floor was Dr. Wyatt’s two-room office. Later, W. A. Johnson’s first law office was in these rooms, and then Dr. Kenneth Talley’s optometrist office

In the basement of the building was a barbershop. It continues to be a barbershop even in 2003. J. C. Hatley and Bill Upchurch were the first barbers to occupy this shop. Pescott W. Matthews, J. Ray Johnson, Cliff Stevens*, Bill Thomas, and Lee Womack were also barbers here. Hambone Clark and Novelle Morgan had shoeshine stands there as well. (Billy Ray and John Pat say that you were fortunate indeed to be able to visit the barbershop on Saturday evening and for a quarter you could get a hot shower. Later, you could play pool (the pool table didn’t come till the 1940s) or cards in the back of the barbershop.) Cliff Stevens played the bass fiddle in a string band along with James Lucas and William Black (who played mandolin and guitar). On Saturday nights they played for the square dances in the town hall.
Before 1950, there was a platform and a large hole between the alley and the next business where Layton Supply stored farm equipment.

4. Mr. W. H. “Bill “Lee had a shoe shop in the next building. His son, Charles Lee currently operates this shoe shop.
5. In the next business, Ernest Simmons had a hot dog snack bar that included pinball machines. Lamar Simmons said that it was the first business he (Lamar) ever owned. Jim Jordan, also worked there. Later Jo Bethune had a beauty shop in this location. Her slogan was “We curl up and dye for you.”
6. Next to him was Blackburn’s Jewelry. There was a vacant lot between this building and the Hotel Lillington.
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7. Hotel Lillington was on the north corner of Front and 8th Streets. This hotel was originally owned by Dr. Caviness and perhaps even built by him. It was called the Caviness Hotel originally.  Later the hotel was owned by the Layton family and was leased out from time to time to different managers. See  Hotel Lillington  (news article and additional photographs to be added).


     Turning right around the corner at the hotel, you find yourself on 8th Street. The backside of the Harnett County Maintenance Department and school bus garage continues to be visible.

8. Note: on the 1915 map there was a building here, but its function is unknown to these authors.

9. Continuing around the corner, turning right on Harnett, the main entrance to the lower level of the building faced north on Harnett Street. This is where the school bus maintenance was done. The upper level that faces the alley housed the rest of the maintenance department.

10.  Turning right at the corner, you are again facing Hwy 15-A (Main Street). There was a vacant lot where the Board of Education is currently located.
block2frontst.jpg (551124 bytes) 11. The next building going up the street housed several businesses over the years. At one time it was Sam Watkins’s Garage, and J. B. Hendley’s Chevrolet dealership. The building connected to it was a café run by Sammy Sassine. It was also home to Sawyer’s Garage. Riley Motor Company was also at this location at one time.

Block 2 extension

1. On the north side of Harnett Street, across from the maintenance department was Mr. Moore’s blacksmith shop.

  2. In the middle of the block next to the blacksmith shop was the (Bill) Talley Livery Stable. John Balance Lee later owned it in the 1940s; he was the father of Jessie Anna Lee Walker.
  3. A slab of concrete that the children of Lillington used as a “skating rink” was on the far corner.   According to Mr. L. M. Chaffin, the first Methodist Church in Lillington was on this block. He also shared in his history of Lillington that there was also a graveyard here at one time. However the bodies were exhumed and buried other places. From time to time folks would find a piece of bone or casket on the lot.
frontstreetbiz.jpg (66870 bytes) (The block directly across the street, on the south side of Front Street.)

This block of Lillington was probably one of the busiest blocks in town before 1950. There were fifteen businesses in operation on the south side of Front Street at one time.
   1. Lafayette Drug Company was on the corner of Front and Main Streets. This corner building housed several businesses over the years.   Mr. W. P. Sutton operated Lafayette Drug Store that occupied the front of this building on the ground level. Druggists who worked here included Carl Kelly, Mack Stevens, Dr. Rogers, and Dewey Johnson and Bill Randall.  The entrance to the upstairs of the Lafayette Drug Building was from the street. The right side upstairs housed Mr. M.O. Lee’s first law office, and the Masonic hall was behind it. On the left, down the long hall was Dr. Sam McKoy’s dentist office. Talbott Stewart also had a photography studio in this upstairs location behind the dentist office for a time.  In the back of the building, which was actually the right side, facing Main Street, there were several different businesses before it was incorporated as part of the drug store. It has been the site of a funeral parlor; then it was a grocery run by Marsh. Later it was a café run by Vertie Allen, and then Julius Holloway had a grocery store there.

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2-3. The stores beside Lafayette Drug Company were the Johnson and Bryan Stores. These two stores had a walkthrough between them. (Murph) Bryan ran the grocery store.   (Oker) Johnson’s was a mercantile store.


Mr. Oker Johnson walking down Front Street.  Notice the distance to the different cities on the sign.

womblejohnsnow.jpg (358601 bytes) 4. The next store was Womble’s and they sold everything. According to Billy Ray, one exciting event was the day that Mr. Robert Wadlow visited this store. He was the world’s tallest man according to Ripley’s Believe it or Not. He wore size 36 shoes and was at the store to advertise Peter’s Weatherbird Shoes.
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5. The fifth business on the street was Pope’s 5 and10. Later it was remodeled and two store fronts were combined, as this picture shows.

atkinstore.jpg (854081 bytes) 6. The sixth store was Atkins Brothers Mercantile. This was also Harnett Hardware at one time.
mcleanandoquinn.jpg (60374 bytes) 7. The seventh business was that of (Melvin) McLean and (Redden) O’Quinn. It was a men’s clothing store and McLean and O’Quinn Funeral Directors.
8. The next business was Starlin Adcock’s auto parts store.
9. Then Cooper’s Grocery. Mr. John Womble also ran a grocery store in this building, but later moved back to the third building on the block.
10. The next building was Progressive Store, managed by H. D. Carson, Sr.

11. Next to it was Sanitary Cleaners run by Mr. K. G. Mace.

12. Mr. Alexander “Bossman” Phelps (father of Kenneth Phelps) had a sheet metal business in the next building. He built flues for tobacco barns.
13. The next business was City Market, run by Mr. Truby Powell.
14. On the corner of Front and 8th Street was The Harnett County News office, whose editor was Henderson Steele. This edition of the paper began January 1, 1919, and is still in operation today.

Turning left at the corner, there were two offices attached to the backside of the news office, with the doors facing 8th Street. Malcolm Fowler had a radio repair shop in one of them for a time. he alley divides the street at this point and runs the length of the block to Main Street. The lot across the alley dividing it was vacant during this time.

15. In the next building, there were three floors. Ice was stored in the basement (actually just a dug-out place) behind the building. On the first floor there was a poolroom and on the second floor there were apartments.

  16. The next building housed a bowling alley owned by Meredith Senter; it had four lanes (three kingpin lanes and one duck pin lane) on the first floor. On the second floor there was a theater, and part of this area was the meeting place for the Junior Order and other local civic groups.

17. In the next building was Henley’s Chevrolet Dealership. Henley moved his automobile dealership around these blocks several times.

18. The next building was Frank Stewart’s Garage. He had a sheet metal business there and did general repairs. However, before that Worth Lee Byrd had an electrical repair shop.

sanitary.JPG (29665 bytes) Turning left around the corner the first building facing Ivy Street is Sanitary Cleaners. Mr. K. G. Mace moved his business that was originally on Front Street around to this side of the block in 1940.

The next building was another home for Henley Automobile Dealership. It moved here from its 8th Street location.

Next was a vacant lot. The next business was the Gulf Station that faced Main Street. It was run by Daniel Davis and later by Mack McKinney and Charlie Morton.(gone)

Next to the Gulf station were two buildings that were connected later.  The first building is single-story furniture store managed by Charlie Loving. It was added to the Hardware Store in 1936.

The next store attached to the furniture store was a hardware store managed by Sion Wilborn. There was a rope elevator in the rear of this building that went to the second floor.

The next business on Main Street was the City Service Station run by Mr. J. L. Hamilton. Bannerman Oil Company of Dunn serviced it.

Returning to the corner of Front and Main is Lafayette Drug Company, completing the block.

BLOCK 4  - Main and Front Streets
  On the corner was the Warwick Hotel. This grand building housed other businesses as well. Dr. A. W. Peede had his first medical office in the back of the building. The Bank of Lillington was housed here for a time. Many social events were held here in a room in the center of the hotel. In 1932, there was a coffee shop. The Bryan and Monroe Sand Company office was also located in this building. It was also the bus stop for a time.
 sirenasw.jpg (39356 bytes) Sirena's Gift Shop also occupied a corner of the building. After its hotel days, rooms were rented. After the 1950s other businesses came and went in this building. It was a Western Auto store and a bank.
 boardinghousetownhall.jpg (50854 bytes) 2. Going south on Main Street, there was a two-story building in the middle of the block--a boarding house owned by Dr. Halford, who also lived there. He rented it to Mr. and Mrs. Marvin (Eula) Fuquay. Eula was sister to John Womble and Dorothy Womble Dean.
  3. The next building was the Town Hall, built and dedicated in 1935. The inscription on the corner stone says "L.D. Burwell Memorial Building 1935." People came from all around, even as far as Fayetteville to attend dances on Saturday nights that where held upstairs.
  4. The next house was the home of John Northam. (gone)
  5. Turning the corner, we see the telephone office. It was built by Carolina Telephone Company and is still used by Sprint.
  6. The next house (brick) is the home of Ralph Shaw. The house was built by his father, Jim Shaw. The Jim Shaw home is on the corner.
  7. W. F. Nipper Home. (gone)
  8. The next building was the law office of Walter P. Byrd, later it was the office of Neil Salmon, and Walter Lee Johnson. (gone)

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