It began in 1914…
Alton Holloway resigned as manager of a variety store and opened the first furniture store in Longview, a small East Texas community. He and Lizzie raised their family and Longview grew into the leading town in the area.
It grew in service…
As Longview grew arid Alton’s sons grew up in their Daddy’s furniture store, a flourishing business, geared to customer concern kept pace with a thriving community.
1949 – with an eye on the future…
The old generation passes away and Lowell, oldest son Alton and Lizzie, boldly establishes his own furniture store a few blocks out of the city limits. 21 years of success and growth, built on service to the customer, established Lowell Holloway Furniture as one of the leading stores in East Texas,
1969 a new era…
Lowell sold the business to Lowell, Jr., and Hubert Akins. With 35 years combined experience in the tradition of the founder’s precepts of customer satisfaction, extra value and courteous service, Hubert and Lowell moved into expanded quarters displaying more than double the amount of merchandise as before. Thus began our history of honesty genuine concern guaranteed satisfaction and service after the sale. This is how we retain the trust of our customers. Our store has become a bit fancier, our perspective has broadened, but we’re still as warm and comfortable to be around as when we were brand new. We hope to never change in this respect, and promise to continue offering you better service and merchandise at the lowest prices with each growing year.
The story of Lowell Holloway Furniture is more than an overview of the growth of a local institution The half century saga touches on both the rich history of Longview and of playing a vital role in meeting the home furnishing needs of a growing East Texas city and region. While the business was founded in May 1949 just outside the then city limits of Longview, Its roots go back to the city’s founding.
The company’s namesake, Lowell Holloway Sr. was a descendant of O.H. Methvin one of the city’s founders and for whom one of Longview’s main streets is named. His family had been involved in the furniture business in Longview since 1912 through the old Home Furniture store, said present owner of Lowell Holloway Furniture, Hubert Akins.
Hubert Akins got his start in sales at an early age after arriving in Longview with his family more than 70 years ago.
Akins entered the Navy in December 1943, but his love for people, business and sales had been whetted through his days as a paperboy.
Carl Estes thought enough of Akins abilities to offer to send him to journalism school at the University of Missouri. But that was not the avenue the military veteran saw for himself after returning to Longview after the war.
He ended up working for a downtown furniture store and in 1951 was lured to the little store just outside the Longview city limits that Lowell Holloway Sr. had opened just a couple of years earlier. Among the many memories Akins has are that there was no central hear or air conditioning in those early days.
Akins said the 6,000 square foot building Holloway had turned into a furniture store was once a night spot featuring live bands. Today, the store has grown more than eight fold, but Akins can still point out the location of the bandstand in the original part of the business.
“We have a lot of families we’ve worked with since the early 1950s,” Akins said. Now, Lowell Holloway Furniture is serving the second, third and in some cases, fourth generations of East Texans
And it is doing so with the third generation of Akins family members he involved, he said. Akins son, Gary, is active in managing the store, while daughter, Celia, has been involved in over the years with her husband, David Elkins, also involved on a daily basis
Lowell Holloway Jr. and Hubert Akins bought the business from the senior Holloway In 1969 and operated in partnership until October 1997 when Akins bought Holloway’s interest.
He has seen a steady stream of expansions and additions over the years with the first coming in 1952 and several more made over the years until the store now occupies about 50,000 square feet of show room and warehouse space.