Mr. Elbert C. Pettit, Manager, D. E. Converse Company Mill Stores 

Elbert C. Pettit of Clifton, S. C. was General Manager of all four mill stores of The D. E. Converse Company for over 50 years. He was the son of Nathan and Agnes Phillips Pettit and had lived in Spartanburg County most of his life.

Though each store had it’s own bookkeeper who served as location  manager and did limited local buying, Mr. Pettit began serving as General Manager of the Glendale and Converse mill stores in the late 1800s, continuing he retired in late 1947.The Glendale Mill store, being the first of the four and one of the oldest major stores in the area,  had direct purchasing privileges from most all major manufactures and suppliers. Mr. Pettit placed all orders to those factories and suppliers for all four stores.   He traveled between each store on a daily basis.

The Glendale Mill store was separated from the D. E. Converse Corporation in 1946 when Glendale Mills and it’s property was sold to J. L. Stifel and Sons of Wheeling, West Virginia. This writer took Management of the Glendale store in 1948, continuing until the mill was sold again in 1957 and the store was closed in 1958. The other three stores were managed by their local Manager after Mr. Pettit’s retirement until the mills and stores were closed.

Mr. Pettit was a member of the First Baptist Church of Clifton and served as a Trustee of the Clifton schools for a number of years. He was a Mason and a member of the Omar Shrine Temple.

 Mr. Pettit died at his home Saturday July 29, 1949 at the age of 78. His obituary published in the Spartanburg Herald on Sunday July 31 stated that he was living at the Clifton Hotel and that death came after a long illness. He was survived by two sisters; Mrs. J. H. Walden of Washington and Mrs. C. B. Shippey of Ashville, N. C. One brother, C.C. Pettit of Ashville; also several nieces and nephews. Time and place of funeral and interment did not appear in the article.

This writer did not meet Mr. Pettit personally until the early 1940s when I found him to be a very honest, friendly and polite person. I think he was liked and appreciated by all who knew him. I had really come to know Mr. Pettit when I was a child. I saw him frequently as he passed in front of our home, traveling the Glendale-Clifton road making his daily trips between the stores.


(Story furnished by Clarence Crocker.)



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