A Poteau tradition from one family to the next

A local family whose name is synonymousto downtown Poteau recently soldtheir last business that has forever beenknown by the name of the man whoopened its doors 65 years ago.Holton’s True Value Hardware has anew owner and it’s one that intends tocontinue the long-time practice of appreciatinghometown business and valuedcustomers.F.L. Holton, Sr., the founder of Holton’sHardware, was, according to his family, anaturally gifted horse and mule trader. In1915, at the age of 26, he opened thedoors to his first business – a general merchandisestore in Cameron. The fruitionof his dreams came from hard work andfrugal saving until he reached his goal tostart his own store. A decade later, Holtonmoved the business to downtown Poteauto a building with 3,500 square feet. Anexcellent business man who valued hiscustomers, the business flourished andwith time, the Holton name was attachedto five separate locations with more than40,000 square feet. The Holtons providedthe community with a department store,hardware and furniture store, supermarket,retail feed store and a Pontiac dealership.But those times have come to an end asthe family has through the years sold onebusiness after the other and recently saidgoodbye to the last of the family stores.Chris Hoag, of Quinton, purchased thehardware store from the Holtons. He andhis family have been long-time friends ofthe Holton family and he is no stranger tohometown hardware. Hoag also owns andoperates True Value Hardware Store inQuinton, Eufaula, Hartshorne, Wilburtonand McAlester.While there will be some changes at the new Poteau TrueValue Hardware with Hoag's taking of the reins, he wouldlike to assure the public that most of the attributes of the storethat many have visited for years will remain the same.The faces that have greeted and helped customers at thehardware store will remain unchanged. Steve Cherry willcontinue as the store manager along with Paul Collins as theassistant manager.Hoag plans to bring positive changes for customer satisfactionover the next few years. He plans to expand theinventory available at the Poteau location and has in theworks, major remodeling.“Customers will receive the same friendly service fromthose same great people who have taken care of you foryears.” said Hoag. “Most importantly, Poteau True ValueHarware will continue the tradition of quality merchandiseand professional service that you expect from your hometownhardware.”The Holton family would like to express a sincere thankyou to all their customers for the business and loyalty all thesemany years. Many of the families have been their loyal customersfor three generations and they cherish the wonderfulmemories of those times, both past and present.