Fennie Allison (seated) of Allison’s Grocery received an award from Margaret Wooten in this undated photograph.
This article from the Crestview News in 1975 is one of many that told the story of Fennie Allison.
“Her Store Carries Everything” by Charlie Webb
CRESTVIEW — The wonderful courage and goodness of pioneer ladies has been beautifully illustrated by Mrs. Fennie Allison during her 44 years of operating a store in DeFuniak Springs. Part of the store is built around a large sycamore tree whose beauty she would not allow to be destroyed.
She is proud of the modern merchandise carried in the store which she operates from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. six days a week. Also equally proud of the hard-to-get items carried in the store, such as pretty flannel mother hubbard nighties, cotton stockings, and cotton panties. Should a customer desire for some reason or another a dab or two of asafetida, or maybe a bottle of bitter, yellow three 666’s, these items might just be found in her store along with a pinch of black draught for that old aggravating torpid liver condition.
With a twinkle in her beautiful blue-grey eyes she says that she carries everything in the store except coffins and caskets, and that in case of an emergency there are always enough empty wood grape boxes in the storage room to build one.
Her best moments these days area when her wonderful and dear friends Mrs. Agnes Hodge, Mrs. Ethel Kinsey, Mr. Gertrude Sullivan, Mrs. Zelma Paul, Mr. and Mrs. Joe Tappin, and Melvil Jennings drop by to reminisce about the beautiful long ago.
Mrs. Allison is 71 years old and says that she feels good most all the time, but has quit lifting heavy articles in the store. While a small and dainty lady physically, she formerly enjoyed unloading from trucks onto her shoulders 100 pound sacks of sugar for the store. She said such exercise made her arms and shoulders always feel relaxed and gave her cheeks a healthy glow.
Perhaps the noble pioneer ladies and the wonderful ladies of today have lovingly created through their lives of beautiful feminine tolerance a deep and sincere image of courage within the hearts of most all men.
[Accession Nos. 2005-8-1 and 2005-8-2; Donated by Fred and Sharon Wilharm]