Wrecker tears down precious memories

Sunday, August 7, 2011
Roy Chatterton, (from left), George Chatterton holding his son, Charles Ellis Chatterton, 5 months, and Gene Chatterton in front of Potter's Hatchery in Green Forest in 1942.

My heart wrenched as we drove in sight of the building -- a pile of stone and rubble just west of the Green Forest Square on U.S. Hwy. 62. The wrecking machine was still at work. This was the building I first lived in when the Chatterton family moved from Chanute, Kan. to Green Forest in December 1938. Then it was the Potter's Hatchery -- the beginnings of the poultry industry here. My Daddy, George Chatterton, was the manager and the family lived in the back of the building for a time.

The adjoining buildings at that time were Greer's Conoco and Villine's Produce on the east, and Crawford's Canning Co. offices on the west. The other three businesses were torn down several years ago. The last business in this particular building was Conard's Appliance and Repair operated by Russell Conard, who retired a few years ago.

Somehow I had survived the demolition of the venerable F. M Seitz home and its pleasant garden/park, which was next door to where we lived when I was in the 8th grade. Even the removal of the rock-sided Methodist Church, which I had watched my Daddy help build in 1939, did not affect me as this last building did. Perhaps it was just the surprise or the realization of the end of an era, but seeing that vacant space was jolting.

I am glad to know that my hometown is growing and rising to the needs of the present day. I look forward to seeing what will occupy that side of the highway now. In today's economy, it surely must be a sign of progress. May God bless it, as He has blessed my memories that give me pride to be a part of a wonderful community in the Ozarks.

Earlene Chatterton Allen

Green Forest

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  • Was this a Potter's Hatchery started by Clyde E. Potter? My uncle told me he started a multitude of hatcheries throughout Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma, but I hadn't heard of one in Arkansas.

    C.E. Potter was my great-grandfather. I remember the Potter Hatcheries he started were generally a live-in affair like explained in the article. There are now none of them left, only a few buildings which used to be hatcheries. I only personally visited the last one open, the Potter Hatchery and Feed Store in Tulsa, OK, when my father and uncle were selling it off.

    I appreciate the tenor and tone of this article, as the only thing left of my great-grandfather's chicken hatchery network is a plaque from a feed magazine denoting our last open store as one of the top 10 feed stores in the nation.

    J. Potter

    -- Posted by J. Potter on Sun, Apr 21, 2013, at 5:19 AM
  • Yes, the Potter's Hatchery in Green Forest, Carroll County, in NW Arkansas was owned by C.E. Potter, and my father, George Dailey Chatterton moved there in 1938, from Colony, Kansas and was General Manager of the Hatchery until it was destroyed by an electrical fire one night in 1947, or 1948. The cause of the fire was suspected caused by rodents chewing through the wiring in the ceiling.

    I am in the photo, held in my father's arms in front of the Hatchery. I was born in Green Forest in that same year, on January 10th, 1942 in an old house that was located behind the present United Methodist Church.

    My father and mother named me after their early Family Physician, whose name was Charles, and my dad's younger brother, Ellis, but I believe they had in their minds that my initials will forever memorialize his boss, C.E. Potter, as well.

    --Posted by C.E. Chatterton on Tue. Dec 31st, 2013.

    -- Posted by Hometown Boy on Tue, Dec 31, 2013, at 8:55 PM
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