As told by Jim McClain
After serving three years in the Civil War, Jake Kelly married Susanna Read. Susanna had come to America from York, England. Jake Kelly is listed in the 1870 census for Alabama as a farm laborer. In 1873 he is recorded as a registered voter in San Jacinto County, Texas, near the town of Waverly. Later with his two children and wife, he moved to Evergreen and ran a store with Post Offices boxes in one corner. In 1907, he, his wife and son, John Kelly, moved to Shepherd. Jake and Susanna ran a hotel on the west side of the railroad track and John opened a store on the other side of the railroad track.
John C. Kelly, date unknown.
John Kelly, about the time of the Spanish-American war.
Downtown Shepherd, 1900. Just west of railroad track.
Mary Kate Kirby, early 1900's. She was raised in Huntsville and married John Kelly in 1909. She taught school in Shepherd for many years until her death in 1944.
John and Mary Kelly, about the time of their marriage in 1909.
This is the upper floor above J.C. Kelly Gen'l Merchandise. The Shepherd telephone exchange was here. On this day, young Susie Tribe (Whitcomb) is the operator while she reads. Her father, James Tribe, a carpenter and coffin maker, helped build a lot of early Shepherd. This photo is taken in 1920's(?). This building burned down in 1928.
The original store, "J.C. Kelly Gen'l Merchandise", was in the same location where the Shepherd Public Library currently is. This store building burned down in December 1928. John Kelly is the man with his hands on his hips and a bow tie. "Woodmen of the World" held meetings upstairs. Picture taken about 1910. John Kelly had store there starting about 1907 or 1908.
This is the San Jacinto Times article about the fire that destroyed the J. C. Kelly Co. building in 1928.
John Kelly, 1930, in the new brick store built in 1930. This building is now used as the Shepherd Public Library.
Katie Sue Kelly (McClain), right, in front of her father's store, about 1930.
John Kelly with employee in front of store in 1930's(?).
Bob and Sue McClain about the time of their marriage in 1935. Bob began managing the store for his father-in-law, John Kelly, about 1945.
Downtown Shepherd in the 1940's(?). This is just east of railroad track and north of Hwy 150.
North side of J.C. Kelly Co. about 1950(?).
Nettie Stewart and Bob McClain inside J.C. Kelly Co. in February 1951. The three men appear to be taking a break from loading pulp wood on railcars. Note telephone behind Bob McClain's right shoulder.
Downtown Shepherd on a Sunday in the early 1950's. J.C. Kelly Co. is at the bottom of the picture. This is just before the name was changed to McClain's Superette. Note Mr. McClary's Oldsmobile parked at the bottom of the picture. His pharmacy and the cafe were the only businesses open on Sunday. The building with the cars parked around it in the top left of the picture was the cafe at the four corners.
Town of Shepherd leaders featured in a Houston Chronicle article in 1950. Bob McClain is second from left.
McClain's Superette on a Saturday in 1954. The three women with carts are (left to right) Dollie Tribe, Mrs. E.J. Russell and Mrs. Dabney.
Bob McClain, Sue McClain, Patsy Pierce and Christine Ham (Cronin) during the remodeling sale of 1954. Business name was then changed to McClain's Superette.
Finger's store was next door to McClain's. This is an inside view with Agnes Jarboe and her father, "Captain" Cronin, in the 1950's. The Finger family started their store in the early 1900's and later started Finger's Furniture in Houston in the 1920's.
Bob and Sue McClain at a grocery convention in the 1950's.
Bob and Sue McClain in the mid 1950's. They owned and operated McClain's store from 1947 until 1982.
Bob McClain opening up the store in the early 1980's.
McClain's Super Market, 1984. This building was used by J.C. Kelly Co. / McClain's Super Market from 1930 until 1984. It is still used today by the Shepherd Public Library.
Rosie Burch, Jim McClain and Cindy Settle about 1985.
Roxie Moulder working in produce in 1980's. Roxie worked for McClain's from 1962 until her death in 1995.
McClain's Food Market in the 1990's.
Sandy McClain with four of her five daughters - Fall 2000. Jim McClain sweeping on aisle 6.