Flo Store


Written by Norma Moore and published in the Buffalo Express October 6, 2004

        The Flo Store is an establishment that has been of great importance since our pioneer days.  The Flo Store which stands today at our Flo crossroads on FM 831 and CR 1511 has been an establishment since 1891.  The first building was used as a post office and mercantile store.  The first postmaster was David Haskins.  He and his wife Rachel were first settlers of our Oden settlement, then our Flo community and gave Flo its name from their favorite dog, Flo, who greeted all the people who came by.
        William Hemphill was the Methodist preacher of the Kidds Mill, Flo settlement.  He and Frank Yerby, Henry Boykin, D. J. Attaway. and Albert West Lathrop also served as Flo postmasters.
        Albert West Lathrop along with his wife Zela, seemed to pave the way of a Flo heritage when he served as postmaster.  He and his wife also ran the Flo store in 1909.  They are one of the earliest homesteaders, owning Flo land that has been in the Lathrop name for 120 years.  Albert was operator of the Flo store.  Later his nephew Albert Riley Lathrop along with his wife Tommie became owners/operators of the store.  They added the convenience of household, farm and ranch supplies and gasoline, including the regular grocery items, which were well stocked.
        The Flo store was the basic shopping mart for our Flo people and the center point of the people to gather and shop and visit.  The men played dominoes, the women talked and the children played games.
        At one time the Flo store was the place to get mail.  In 1916 when the Flo post office was closed, our mail was delivered from Buffalo, first by a carrier riding a horse.  He left the mail at rows of mailboxes by the store.
        The Flo store and its property was a main gathering place for the people in many ways.  It was used as a place to hold fairs, animal shows, quilting bees and canning programs.
        The Lathrop's store has been a mainstay of the Flo community all through our history.  The Albert (Bake) Lathrop family, as owners, with other families as operators, has provided a wealth and a resourceful strength since the 1900's.  Some of the operators were Woodrow & Ira Dell Bell, Doug and Ruth Kimbrough, Redic Williams and Lonise and Bertha Lathrop families.
        The Donald Lathrop family (son of Albert (Bake) Lathrop) has been operator of the store and has added selling the best Barbecue with all the trimmings.  He has renamed it the Flo Country Corner Cafe.  Donald Lathrop, Sherry and Paul Matney and Margo and Ron Carmichael are serving the best catfish dinners and catfish baskets.  The dinners, with four large fillets, coleslaw, hush puppies and french fries cost $4.95.  Banana pudding, tea and coffee are also served.  There are also plans to add more entrees.
        There are many gift items, antiques, and decorative displays at the store.  They are very eye catching.  The place is open on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings from 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m.