Walton County Heritage Association
Museum & Genealogy Society

Preserving the History and Heritage of Walton County, Florida

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Rubeye Walden Burton

Rubye Walden BurtonRubye and Talmer Walden moved to DeFuniak Springs in the early 1930s to open an automobile dealership and a gasoline distributorship. Talmer died a year later, and Rubye requested that the gasoline business be transferred to her name. The Gulf Refining Company had never had a woman dealer and refused her first request, so she had a male employee sign the papers. Her transfer request was granted sometime later, so she officially became the first woman distributor of Gulf Oil in the country.

In 1947, she married the man who was running the business, Nelson Burton, and concentrated her talents on other projects. She hand hooked a rug in the 1960s by cutting beige wool into strips and hand-dyed them, thereby creating a one-of-a-kind masterpiece. At the time of its completion, it was the largest known hand-hooked rug in the country. She also became known as “The Lady of the Lake” for her constant care of the landscaping in the lakeyard. She died in 2001 at the age of 101.

 

The Gulf Oil gasoline station building (white building below) still exists on the corner of Highway 90 and 8th Street in DeFuniak Springs. During Rubye Burton's ownership, it was managed by Andy Anderson, and Cas "Little Cas" Campbell was a mechanic. The building was expanded in the 1950s. The new addition served as an appliance store that was managed by Bob Kirby.

Gulf Oil Gasoline Station, DeFuniak Springs

 

 

The Walton County Heritage Museum
Hours: Tuesday - Saturday from 1:00 until 4:00 P.M. [or by appointment]
Admission is free.
See our Calendar for activities at the Museum.
Address: 1140 Circle Dr, DeFuniak Springs, Fl 32435
Directions
Phone: 850-951-2127    Email: heritagemuseum@centurylink.net

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