GRAPELAND, Texas — Celebrations are underway for Darseys Furniture’s 135 Anniversary, marking it as one of the oldest continually operated businesses in Texas. The store is currently owned and operated by the fourth generation of the Darsey family, namely Charley Hill Darsey, along with his wife Tonya Reynolds Darsey. A fifth generation of the family, Darsey’s daughter Linda Brooke, and her husband Reily McCully, are currently learning the business with plans for future succession.
The George E. Darsey and Company, better known as Darseys Furniture, was established by the current owner’s great grandfather. The family has deep roots reaching back to the foundation of Texas as an independent republic, before it because a US state. One of the owner’s ancestors (great, great grandfather) fought with Sam Houston at the battle of San Jacinto in 1836. The store was stablished 50 years later in 1886.
Darsey recalled how he was brought up in the business, recounting how his father made me learn how to count money back to every customer for their change. “I told him, but the registers tell you how much money to pull and return to the customer. He said what if the register is wrong? Or the electricity goes out,” said Darsey. “You have to learn the little things, and you must know it forwards and backwards. We still make everyone know how to do this before they can handle money in our business. Little things like that passed down from generation to generation, have made this business strong, 135 years strong. Little things…”
The current generation of the family purchased the company in 1994 from Darsey’s parents. “It gave my parents an income and an ability for us to transition the business with their help,” said Darsey. “History and tradition run deep in my blood. November 19th we are having a party in honor of generations of customers and generations of employees and their families that have worked here. Our heritage is important to us it is who we are, we do the same things and have the same advertising slogans as they did a hundred years ago, ‘Your service 1st store since 1886.’”
Celebrations will start on the morning of November 19th with breakfast honoring current and past employees, their families, and our family (including the extended family that has no ownership or involvement). Darsey recalled “Our 125th anniversary it was a very, very, special time sitting and listening to the fun stories when they spoke of my father and grandfather.” At noon Darsey will say a few words and have a drawing for a giveaway. A light lunch will follow.
Darseys Furniture has been a member of Furniture First since 2015. More than ten members of the national buying group have been in business for more than 100 years.