Written by Norma Moore and published in the Buffalo Express October
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
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
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.