Smith T Building Supply has been family owned and managed by three generations of Smith Ts, but it didn’t start out that way. This location hasn’t always been a building supply store. In the late 1800s, the site was used to host boxing matches. Then in 1916, Frederick’s Furniture was built, as seen in this excerpt from the Opelika Daily News. Later a motor company, Canon Motor Company, replaced the funeral home. Finally, in 1931, during the great depression, the site became what it is today.
Our family’s unusual last name came from an ancestor who changed his common name from “John Smith” to “John Smith T” sometime around the start of the 19th century. Although he was a native of Virginia and died in Missouri, we speculate that John Smith T “borrowed” the capital letter T from the state in which he lived much of his life, Tennessee. His nephew and my great-great grandfather – who was born in Chambers County, Alabama — was given the same name in honor of his uncle, John Smith T.
We have passed down many things started by my grandfather. Things that were important to him then, were important to my father and are still important to me today. The values that he passed down are what I treasure the most. We still pride ourselves on treating our customers with respect in a very timely and friendly manner.