About Dozier Hardware

THOMASVILLE – Many things have changed about Dozier Hardware since it came into existence over a century ago. Originally, it was located downtown; now it sits out on the four-lane. There have also been changes in the folks who have worked there and the ones who have run the business but one thing hasn’t changed and it’s the thing current company president Gerald Corgill credits with allowing the business to survive over the last 10 decades. “This is a service-based business,” Corgill said. “That’s what has allowed us to stay around for so long and I think it’s the reason this business has been successful. I know it’s something my father-in-law took very seriously and something he always brought up when we talked about business.” His father-in-law, Billy Andrews, told Corgill every customer was important and the business needed to do whatever it could to keep the customers satisfied. “He told me over 31 years ago that every hardware store in town carried about the same thing at about the same price,” Corgill said. “Mr. Billy said the thing that set us apart was service. He believed in treating everyone the same, whether they were a big contractor coming in to spend thousands of dollars or whether they were folks working on the weekend projects, who might only need a $5 part.” Corgill said the store’s reputation was built on service and on dealing with folks honestly and with integrity. “That philosophy hasn’t changed,” Corgill said. “ We do our best to keep our customers satisfied and I think that has built up a lot of loyalty to the store.”

Store Got Its Start In 1903
Dozier Hardware hasn’t always been known by that name. In fact, for the first few years it was open, it was known as “Andrews Hardware.” The business was founded three years into the 20th century by a 21 year old names W.H. Andrews Sr. Known widely as “Mr. Hamp,” Andrews opened the store in the building currently occupied by The People’s Corner. The building was one of the first brick structures constructed after the fire of 1899. In 1907, the business moved across the street when Andrews merged as a partner with L.L. Dozier. In 1939, the interest of L.L. Dozier was purchased by the Andrews family. Since there were three Andrews Hardware stores in the area, the Dozier name was retained. “A lot of people ask about that, “Corgill said. “However, Back in those days, most of the deliveries came in by rail and it was confusing for the workers to keep everything straight with three different stores with the same name on their route. It made business a lot simpler just to keep the Dozier name.” “Mr. Hamp, as long as his health permitted, was a familiar sight in his rocking chair at Dozier Hardware. He was widely known and respected in the hardware industry where he got another nickname, “Mr. Hardware.”

Move Away From Downtown
After finishing college, W.H. Andrews, Jr., known as “Mr. Billy” came back home to work Alongside his father in the hardware business. Dozier Hardware continued as a partner- ship with Mr. Hamp, Billy and his two sisters, Edwina and Rosmond. “Mr. Billy” took the reins of Dozier Hardware from his father and continued to expand and enlarge the hardware and building materials firm. Between 1966 and 1972, he purchased the business interests of this two sisters, Edwina and Rosmond. The business was incorporated in 1972 under the name Dozier Hardware Company, Inc. with Mr. Billy as president. Under Mr. Billy’s watch, the store changed locations, moving from its spot in downtown out the burgeoning business district on Highway 43, where it sits today. In 1971, Gerald Corgill, Mr. Billy’s son-in-law, joined the business. He was made vice-president when the company was incorporated in February, 1972 and he served in that capacity until February, 1982, when he was named President. At that time, Mr. Billy was named Chairman of the Board and he continued in that capacity until he retired on July 31, 1982. The other officers elected at that time were: Jimmy C. Davis, Vice-President; and Marie Rose P. Andrews, Secretary-Treasurer. “I think it’s remarkable that this business has been able to last this long and stay in the same family, “Corgill said. “ You just don’t see that much these days.”

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