George Cosby and Sons Building

Main Street – New Tazewell

Emily Moore, Atlanta –> daughter of Sue Minton Moore –> daughter of Glen Minton – Harrogate says The building was built by my great-great grandfather, George Cosby. It was originally the George Cosby and Sons building and was built between 1910-1915. As far as my family knows, the Cardwell family had nothing to do with the building. The building served as a grocery store and a mercantile. Mr. Cosby lived next door in a house that was demolished in the 1940s to make way for the Payne Motor Company's parking lot. I have a newspaper clipping that shows the house”.


She says according to her Great Aunt Mildred (we call her Aunt Mimi) is the granddaughter of George Cosby” the Telephone Exchange was located upstairs to where the Western Auto Building was. The building was purchased in the late 1940's by James and Clayton Cawood along with the Hotel Duncan, next door. The building was being used by Ben Livesay, Jr. as a Bargain Store. Ben Livesay was my Great Uncle (Joe Payne), a brother to my grandmother Mattie Alice Livesay. Ben and his wife Donna Mae were living in the Glenn Yoakum house while Glenn was serving in the Navy. Strangly when the Cawood Hotel burned in November 1945, that same week the house that Ben was living in burned also. Glenn Yoakum's wife was living with her mother until Lt. Yoakum returned from the Navy.

Claiborne Progress July 18, 1946


During WWII, George Cosby rented the upstairs of the store as apartments. She goes on to say: “Her father (Aunt Mimi). Barton Cosby (son of George) is the man in the 1920s picture of the store (below).  Aunt Mimi corrected me and said that the store was probably built no later than 1910.  The store was technically called a “general merchandise” store and they sold practically everything.  She remembers that it had a wonderful candy counter.  You mentioned in the photos that the Duncan Hotel was to the right.  Prior to being the Duncan Hotel, the building that stood to the right (actually this is a mistake, the Hotel Duncan or Cawood stood to the left looking at the store) was a two-story white house owned by the Stanifers.” (pictured in the last photo)



“Jon Kivett wrote some articles about the George Cosby home that I told you was demolished in the 1940s.  Aunt Mimi said that Kivett was incorrect and that the house was actually demolished in the 1950s or 1960s, so I gave you incorrect information before.  I should have called her first, but I was excited to see the store online.”

John Kivett – August 2000 - Unless you were in the area 60 years ago, there is little chance you would remember the Cosby House that was located across from the Payne Ford Company on Main Street in New Tazewell. The house was home of Mr. And Mrs. George Cosby. George ran a shoe store in the nearby brick building that still stands (until June 2006) across from Payne Ford. The house was demolished in the mid 1940’s.


Frank Jennings early 1940’s, with Cosby Store and house in background.


I am researching the possibility that this building behind George Livesay (picture about 1905) is the Cosby Store and was built sometime between 1900 and 1901 with the Ford Hotel that stood where the Hotel Duncan later (1945) Hotel Cawood, once stood across from the Payne brothers businesses in New Tazewell. If anyone has proof or knowledge when this Hotel was built I would greatly appreciate it. My primary interest is where in New Tazewell the George Livesay & Company building was located. From all account I gathered from my Uncle L.G. Payne, it was across the street from where the Payne Ford Tractor Company was located and this was between 1915 and 1924.

Picture made ca 1910 - Livesay Company building last on left. Question is "Is this Main Street, New Tazewell?"

Main Street New Tazewell, probably 1930's George Cosby Building last on left.
Back Street New Tazewell

This picture furnished by Bill G. Chumley of the street running behind Payne Ford Motor facing toward the New Tazewell Railroad Depot at the end of the street. Probably late 1930's or early 1940's. Duncan Hardware and Tobacco Warehouse would be on the other side of the railroad tracks.

December Day 1949

This picture furnished by Ed Buis of downtown New Tazewell on a rainy December Day 1949 (Note Xmas Lites across stree)t