As one of twelve children born to James Monroe "Bud" White and his bride Amanda Warren in the late 1800s, Ulysses Grant White created a business that has influenced Athens, Alabama, a prominent cotton and railroad hub of the prosperous Limestone County seat for nearly a century. Following a farming accident that cost him his right arm, the White Hollow, Tennessee native started U.G. White Hardware and Implement Co. on south Marion Street in 1917. White supplied Athens's mercantile needs as well as briefly entering the burgeoning automotive service-station business. After twenty years White sought a more strategic location and in 1937 bought and remodeled the corner of 101 Jefferson Street.
For the last ninety-three years, U.G. White's Hardware store has benefited and served as an economic anchor for downtown Athens. Farmers could buy their Farmalls to work the fertile soil of the surrounding counties that produced cotton, corn, oats, wheat, potatoes and hay. Local cotton mill workers could also buy their radios, heating stoves and kitchenware at the store.
U.G. White Mercantile maintains it's presence as the trailhead of the once again thriving square on the main street of this early incorporated city in Alabama. Having passed from U.G. White's descendants the Aycocks (four generations) to Derrick Young and Johnny Furline. On 101 Jefferson St. time stands still in a diverse environment that preserves, connects, and supplements anyone who wishes to participate in traditional southern culture.
At U.G. White there was always something for everyone. Visitors today can still come and find items and gifts not found in mainstream hardware chains. Today, as it was then, the store is open for your convenience six days a week, or 24/7 at ugwhite.com. Please make it a point to come experience the past at U.G. White while enjoying modern day Athens.