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Joel Watson Booth (1882-1967)
The man to the left in the photograph (without hat) is Joel Watson Booth (1882-1967). The man with the hat has not been identified.
The location is Booth's leather/shoe-repair shop on the north side of the Square in Yanceyville, North Carolina.
The photograph was taken in September 1939 by Marion Post Wolcott as part of her Farm Security Administration assignment, and is titled: "Saturday Afternoon in Yanceyville, Caswell County, North Carolina."
At some point, Booth moved his business from this location to a small stand-alone building just a short distance west on Greensboro Street in Yanceyville. The location in this photograph became the jewelry/watch-repair shop of Walter Daniel McMullen (1901-1988).
"The one on the left is Joel Booth. That is the door to his shoe shop next to Alex's Cafe. Joel Booth bought butter and eggs from my mama. Often we traded butter for shoe repair. We kept his dog, Jip, for him. He was a kind, gentle man. Mr. Booth is the subject of one of the pieces in my first book, Helen Jean Stories (about life in Caswell County during the forties and fifties)." Source: Helen Jean Ledford 19 March 2018 Post to the Caswell County Historical Association Facebook Page.
"Local Man Exhibits Unusual Tomatoes"
J. W. Booth, local shoe repair shop owner, has a hobby which brings unusual results. For many years he has made a specialty of growing tomatoes and developing a type which grows large fruits with a delicate red coloring and practically without seeds. Monday he had on exhibit in his shop 6 tomatoes which weighed 6 3/4 pounds. Mr. Booth said that some tomatoes he had gathered weighed 1 3/4 pounds each.
Source: The Caswell Messenger (Yanceyville, North Carolina), 17 August 1944.
Booth's Shoe Shop (Yanceyville, NC)
For several decades Joel Watson Booth (1882-1967) operated a small shoe-repair shop on Greensboro Street in Yanceyville, North Carolina. When he moved from Virginia to Yanceyville is not known, but at the time of the 1940 US Federal Census he was renting a house on Wall Street, Yanceyville, North Carolina, living there with is wife Mary Lena Jefferson Booth (1886-1960). In that census, he reported his occupation as: Shoe Repairer/Private Business.
His shop was a very small stand-alone wooden building full of leather-working equipment and heated by a small stove. He rests with his wife at Green Hill Cemetery in Danville, Virginia.
"The shoe shop was in close proximity to Alex's Cafe. Mr. Booth usually put repaired shoes in brown paper bags. Some folks never picked up their shoes, so Booth gave them to someone needy. He often gave us nickels to get an ice cream cone. I loved warming my feet in my stocking feet at his little stove while he worked on my shoe/shoes. He was always interested in how we children were doing in school. More than once he gave me a dime for making the honor roll. A kinder man never lived." Source: Helen Jean Ledford 2018 Post to the Caswell County Historical Association Facebook Page.
"Mr. Booth's shoe shop [the latter stand-alone building] was situated immediately at the street and in the approximate center of what is today the parking lot of the Yanceyville Post Office." Source: Jerry Parks Cooper 2018 Post to the Caswell County Historical Association Facebook Page.
Booths Shoe Shop