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Recognizing Horton’S Books & Gifts

Sen. Johnny Isakson

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Mr. President, today I wish to honor in the Record the 120th anniversary of Horton's Books & Gifts in Carrollton,

In March 1892, N. A. Horton officially opened his business in the northeast section of the public square in Carrollton, GA. During his early years, N. A. Horton and his Carrollton Book Store supplied books and school supplies to local students as well as items such as sewing machines, carpet squares, china, and stationary. As Mr. Horton was an undertaker by training, his store also carried coffins and caskets.

After N. A. Horton died from a stroke in December 1916, his 20-year-old son Hewling, also known as ``Hap,'' took over the operation of the store. The store was relocated several times to different buildings around the town square, but in 1955 Hap moved the store back to its original location. In 1968, Doris Shadrix, a longtime employee, became a partner in the business and eventually the sole owner of the store. After spending a total of 42 years as an employee and owner, Mrs. Shadrix sold the business to Larry Johnson. In 1997, Mr. Johnson sold the business to the present owner, Dorothy Pittman.

Although Horton's has had five owners in its 120-year history, each proprietor has stamped his or her brand of creative individualism on the store, which has become a beloved institution in the community. Horton's has been an active participant in the continued vitality of the Carrollton downtown business district, supporting its employees as leaders and active participants in civic affairs and helping with community projects, education, and organizations.

Just as in the past, Horton's Books & Gifts continues to adapt and change to meet the needs of its customers and the community. In 2000, the store was featured as one of the Nation's bookstores over 100 years old, and it has been the subject of many magazine and newspaper articles in the past 15 years. When the store mascot, Chloe the cat, died at age 15, she was featured on the front page of the local newspaper, the Times-Georgian. One of the first book signings for Atlanta Journal-Constitution writer Celestine Sibley was held at Horton's, as was her last. Other authors who have visited the store include Mary Kay Andrews, Terry Kay, former Georgia Governor and U.S. Senator Zell Miller, and former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

It gives me a great deal of pleasure and it is a privilege to recognize on the floor of the Senate Horton's Books & Gifts as we honor its place in Georgia history as one of the oldest bookstores in Georgia and in the Nation.