I was delighted this afternoon to run across your Horntown website, which I found during my browsing through the Hughes County genealogy pages. It seems we have a connection through that little country crossroads in east central Oklahoma.
What really caught my attention was the historic photos--especially those of the Horntown store when Mr. Horne and Mr. Hawthorne owned it in the twenties and of the store in the forties. My grandfather, J. B. "Jim" Atkinson, owned the store all during the thirties. I believe Granddad sold the store about 1939 or 1940. Do you know who your father bought the store from, or who bought it from my granddad? Do you have any knowledge of that chronology?
My dad, Roy Parsons, had lost his job with the gas company in Blackwell when the Depression started, so he and Mom and my sister, who was just a baby, moved to Horntown about 1933. Dad worked for Granddad at the store, and Mom taught at Moss school from 1935 up through spring 1940. There were two houses behind the store. My grandfather and grandmother lived in one with my two aunts, and my parents and sister lived in the other. My folks moved into Holdenville in 1941, and I was born there in December that year.
Grandmother, Georgie Russell Atkinson, later remarried, to Floyd Shed, and moved to Holdenville, but she remained a member of the Horntown Baptist Church the rest of her life. I remember, when I was a youngster in the late forties and early fifties (during the time your dad was running the store!), going out to Horntown with Grandmother for Sunday evening services and revivals, some of them held under a brush arbor on the east side of the church building. What wonderful singings they had then. I wish I had a recording of those simple country voices singing out the old hymns.
I have photos of the inside and outside of the store from the early 1930s and then from the late '30s, after it was remodeled. I also have individual student photos of the Moss fourth-grade classes of 1936-38 and group photos of the fourth-grade class of 1938 and of the seventh-grade class of 1940, all of whom Mom taught. I'd be happy to scan them and send them to you as JPGs if you'd like to include them on your website.