Robbins - Sanford Merc. Co. Searcy AR old advertisement Woman's Missionary Society Cookbook

By
Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Advantage

Studying the ads in an old Woman's Missionary Society cook book reminds me that Searcy has not forgotten her history.

Robbins-Sanford exists again in the form of a grand hall for holding get-togethers of all kinds.  It is located in the same spot downtown and all of Searcy loves it.

Here is the ad from the old cookbook that dates back to the 20's.

Robbins Sanford Searcy AR

I left the recipes on this page for folks who like to cook.  Read the "Crackers and Cheese" one.  Today's cook would go to the cupboard (pantry now) and take out the can of Kraft's Easy Cheese and squirt the cheese from the can onto the cracker.  But would it taste as good?

Comments (16)

Don Thompson
Donthomp Associates - Sunnyvale, CA

One thing we all loved about Robbins-Sanford was the stuffed horse near the front door to the right. I pondered that horse every time I went into the store. This is a picture of the horse from 1936.

Robbins-Sanford Horse

That recipe for stuffed celery sticks is interesting with the use of olive oil.

There is an earlier blog about Robbins-Sanford here.

Oct 20, 2012 07:33 AM
Anonymous
Anita Fuller

I wrote on the White County website:  My dad E.V. "Dick" Hart's first job for many years was working for Robbins-Sandford.  He later became an agent for  The Standard Oil Company.....selling all Esso products to the farmers, and others in the White County area. 

Oct 20, 2012 09:10 AM
#2
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR

Don, thanks for posting the old blog for me and making it an easy click.  That horse was not a REAL stuffed horse, was it?  I mean one like a stuffed animal head?  Who on earth could have done that?

Anita, what did your dad do for Robbins-Sanford?  I only remember the Esso filling stations for him.

Oct 20, 2012 09:29 AM
Don Thompson
Donthomp Associates - Sunnyvale, CA

My understanding is the horse was a real horse that was stuffed. There have been other stuffed horses on display in museums. They tended to be famous race horses. Roy Rodger's horse, Trigger, is another famous stuffed horse.

The horse was on a platform with wheels and could be moved from front to back. Kids were given rides. Since Robbins-Sanford sold goods for the farmer, saddles, bridals, etc. were displayed on the horse.

Here is some information about the owners from documents held by the White County Historical Society.

Perry, Stephen, (owned Robbins-Sanford Co. pre 1887) general store, 1850s, Searcy 

Robbins, E. A., owned Robbins-Sanford Co. in Searcy after 1887 (w/ John Sanford)

Robbins, E. A., director, Peoples Bank Searcy, 1889

Here is the store shown on the 1919 Searcy map. It is at the corner of Spring and Market.

Robbins-Sanford Store 1919

Oct 20, 2012 11:55 PM
Anonymous
Anita Fuller

Here we go again with our memories:  MY memory of the horse is that it wasn't a REAL horse, stuffed....but a replica made from wood and whatever!   Let's hear from some more sleuths.

 

Barbara:  my dad drove a truck, sold Esso products to farmers and small stations in and all around White County.  In those good old days, farmers might even have a gasoline tank thing in their yards.  Dad would supply them with gasoline, deisel fuel, oil and whatever else they needed to run their tractors, machines for their farming.  In other words, he delivered the goods to them.  He never had a filling station in Searcy.....

Oct 21, 2012 12:13 AM
#5
Don Thompson
Donthomp Associates - Sunnyvale, CA

Stuffed is a misnomer. The horse was probably a frame of some sort with real horse hide stretched over it.

I remember the horse having a feel like a real horse. I spent a lot of time over my young years looking and patting that horse. I'm sure the surface was not painted wood. There was a mane and tail of real horse hair.

So Ms. Tart Hart Fuller, I'm sticking to my memories. After all, I can make them whatever I wish. I remember having dreams about the display cases. I can visualize the knife display case pretty well.

I read that Trigger was a plastic frame with the real Palomino horse hide stretched over it.


Here's some more history of Robbins-Sanford from here.

A mercantile firm which was etched deeply upon the Searcy image for many years was the Robbins-Sanford Company. The enterprise belonged first to Stephen Perry. Perry retired in 1887 and his grandson, John Sanford, became a partner in the business with E.A. (‘Bony’) Robbins. The two had more business acumen than most merchants in the South and they began almost immediately to buy out other businesses … Altogether, the Robbins-Sanford Mercantile Company bought 44 other stores or stocks of goods including hardware, implements, harnesses, grocery, seeds, plants, dry goods, and furniture. Stores were owned and operated by the company elsewhere, as well as the one here in Searcy … the largest such store and warehouse between Little Rock and St. Louis.”

I don’t remember just when Robbins-Sanford went out of business but it must have been in the 1950s because I remember buying some of their store fixtures from “Bony” Robbins after we started our business in 1956. Their store was located where Ozark Arms and Van Atkins are now. They had a large freight elevator which is still in place and which Rick Van Hook tells me still works.

 

Oct 21, 2012 03:03 AM
Anonymous
Ludean Kidd

Here is my two cents worth.  The horse didn't feel like a real horse to me.

Oct 21, 2012 03:36 AM
#7
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR

Anita, but what did he do when he worked for Robbins-Sanford?  Sounds as though they were so big that he could have also delivered goods for them. 

Don, I love it when you and Anita spar!  I really liked when you told her to lay off your memories because you can make them whatever you wish.  LOL  In my memories I recall loving Santa Claus and believing in him.  Then some merchant in the little old town decided to bring Santa Claus to visit his store.  I could immediately see through the beard and the costume and stated that that person was not Santa Claus.  The memories went down hill from there on.  : (

Oct 21, 2012 03:36 AM
Anonymous
Anita Fuller

I think Ludean and I have the same memory:  I can even remember that some of the wood or paint was chipped off that horse.    what color do you remember the horse being, Don?  I remember it was sort of grayish.....certainly not brown!  It was sort of splotchy....

 

My dad worked NOT in the piece goods side, but the side that sold nails and stuff.  Like a hardward store.  Obviously I don't really know, do I?  Never have thought about it.  But he was a clerk and would sell you whatever it was you wanted to buy and they were selling!!!!

Oct 21, 2012 05:15 AM
#9
Don Thompson
Donthomp Associates - Sunnyvale, CA

Anita, grey and splotchy sounds right.

Rather than beat a dead horse, I'll post a piece about a human being on display in the Robbins-Sanford store window. This is from Muncy's book pp. 172-173.

The embalmed corpse of the jail's cleaning lady, Mrs. Frazier, was displayed in the show window of  Robbins-Sanford for one week of public display before burial in the local cemetary.

If anyone who doesn't have Muncy's book wants the whole story posted, say so.

 
Oct 21, 2012 06:29 AM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Old ads are fun - and to answer your question... no, today's method for crackers and cheese probably doesn't taste anywhere near as good.

Oct 21, 2012 11:20 AM
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR

Ludean, it is just too bad that the horse didn't stay around until I arrived at Searcy. : )

Don, that story about a human body being displayed for weeks is worth a whole blog!  Or a movie!  Or maybe a lawsuit after all these years if we could prove she was a relative of ours.  LOL 

Marte, thanks for stopping by.

Oct 21, 2012 09:48 PM
Don Thompson
Donthomp Associates - Sunnyvale, CA

Apparartly, Mrs. Frazier was displayed in the early 1900's. this listing was found in RECONSTRUCTED "YELLOW PAGES" OF THE PAST here.

Frazier, Mrs., cleaning woman at the jail, early 1900s, Searcy
Oct 22, 2012 06:49 AM
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR

Don, you have amazing research abilities.  Reading through those names was interesting.  Yarnell's were really "up town" weren't they.

Oct 22, 2012 10:32 AM
Anonymous
Kary Ross

Does anyone have any knowledge of where the horse could be now? Did anyone save it???

Sep 24, 2016 12:23 PM
#15
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR

Good question, Kary.  I hope someone answers.

Sep 24, 2016 11:30 PM

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