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John B. Rockwell

Lottie Johnson Rockwell Anderson

Adolph Benjamin Johnson Jr.

Justine Puckett

Rockwell's Jewelry Store

John B. Rockwell was born in Georgia on July 21, 1869, the fourth of five children of John R. Rockwell (1827–1881), an Englishman, and Sallie Jones Crocker Rockwell (1835–1908). The boy grew up in Lumpkin, Stewart County, Georgia; but by 1896, he was in Denison, Texas, working as a watchmaker at L. B. Moore, a position he would keep for a long time. He was living at 231 West Morton Street. Adolph B. and Maggie Johnson lived at 321 West Morton.

The Census of 1900 found John boarding with Sirena Fairbanks at 526 West Gandy Street. At 1901 he roomed at 613 West Main. 1903 found him rooming at 419-1/2 West Main.

In 1904, John married Sadie J. Shackleford, a milliner with a "women's furnishings" store at 216 West Main. They were living at 522 West Gandy Street. 

The Sunday Gazetteer
Sunday, April 10, 1904

Two years later, in 1907, they were rooming at 302 West Gandy Street, and Sadie's millinery shop was at 218 West Main. Much continued the same in 1909, when Ella L. Rockwell, student, was living with them.

Big changes were in store around 1910, when John set up his own jewelry store, Rockwell's, at Sadie's former storefront, 218 West Main. Sadie and Ella disappeared around this time, too. In 1911 John was rooming at 404-1/2 West Main. By 1915, the store had moved to 220 West Main, but John was still rooming at that address.

The Census of 1920 found John married to Lottie Johnson, daughter of the Swedish tailor Adolph B. Johnson Sr. and his wife Maggie Dorris Johnson. That year the Rockwells were back boarding with Sirena Fairbanks at 526 West Gandy Street. The next year they had moved to 1011 West Sears.

In 1925, the Denison City Directory listed Lottie as clerk in the jewelry store, which had moved to 326 West Main.

John B. Rockwell passed away on June 8, 1928, at age 58. He was buried at Fairview Cemetery in Denison.

Lottie ran the jewelry store for a couple of years, but in 1931 she married Thomas Benjamin Anderson (1904–1983). In his memoir he recalls this era: "I went to Dallas and bought the cigar stand in the Linz Building, and in 1931 I married Mrs. Lottie Rockwell, of the Rockwell Jewelry Store. I stayed in the cigar stand until I sold it, returning to Denison, where I went into the monument business at 430 West Chestnut Street ... I opened this business in February 1934 and stayed in this business until I sold out and went to Lockheed Aircraft army rejection and inspection booth in 1943 and stayed there until I retired in 1947....My wife, Lottie Rockwell, died in 1958."

In 1931 when Lottie married, her brother, Adolph Benjamin Johnson Jr., and her brother-in-law, Justus G. Puckett (who was married to her sister Eva), bought the jewelry store. Adolph took over the management and, when J. G. Puckett passed away in 1945, bought his interest, becoming full owner. At that time the store moved back to its earlier location at 220 West Main.

Rockwell's Jewelry signature in terrazo sidewalk
220 West Main Street
Photo by Mavis Anne Bryant, ca. 1996
The location is now Homestead Winery and DeVolli's Restaurant.

Justus's daughter Justine Puckett, who graduated from high school in 1938, worked in the store for many years. A 1945 advertisement listed "our personnel": Adolph Johnson, Justine Puckett, Pauline Thompson, Pearl Bruno, Henry Delfeld, W. M. Woods, L. L. Seely. 

Justine Puckett

The store was "Official Watch Inspector for ALL Railroads in Denison." Another advertisement published on March 8, 1950, listed these employees: A. B. Johnson, Miss Justine Puckett, Mrs. Pearl Bruno, Mrs. Evelyn Saunders, Loy Seely, and James Anderson, porter.

Adolph Jr.'s wife, Fay Johnson, was an active force at Rockwell's, too, managing the store following her husband's death in 1956. Rockwell's celebrated its fiftieth anniversary in 1960.

Rockwell Moves To Permanent Home At 220 West Main Street

[Source: Denison TX Press, February 15, 1946]

The Rockwell jewelry store, one of the earliest of Denison's business concerns, which has been located for the past thirty years at 326 West Main, moved into their own home this week at 220 West Main, the property having been acquired some months back by the store.

Workmen have been putting the building into shape for the past three months and it is one of the most attractive structures inside and out to be seen in any city.

The front is away from the ordinary straight lines and is in a broken shape with show windows dotting the entire front on either side of the door which is at the west side of the front. The entire front is finished in Nile green terrazzo marble and is the only one of its kind in North Texas.

The inside of the store is in a soft ivory finish and is liberally equipped with one continuous florescent lighting system which runs the full length of the store in a rectangle shape.

Adolph Johnson, who with the late J. G. Puckett operated the store, announces that he will be ready for business as usual for the weekend.

The new store is only one of several others which are moving to the 200 block, and this section of the business area will have more stores with modern fronts than any other lock on Main street, it was declared this week.

50th Anniversary Rockwell's Event to Start Tuesday
[Source: Denison TX Press, Friday, May 27, 1960, via Portal to Texas History]

Rockwell's Jewelers, 220 West Main, will celebrate its golden anniversary starting Tuesday with a store-wide 50-years-of-progress recognition event.

In appreciation of the patronage of customers, many of which are second and third generations of families, in the North Texas and Southern Oklahoma trade area, Mrs. Adolph Johnson, owner and manager, is saying "Thank You" in a special way by offering a 20% discount on all items in the store for 16 days, cash or 30-day account basis.

Rockwell's golden anniversary celebration will begin Tuesday and run through June 16th. This is the first such event in store history since it was founded in 1910.

Originally founded in 1910 by the late John B. Rockwell, the firm was acquired by J. G. Puckett and Adolph Johnson [Jr.] from Rockwell interests in 1931.

Following the death of Mr. Puckett in 1945, Mr. Johnson purchased his former partner's interest. Mrs. [Fay C.] Johnson has operated the store as owner and manager since Mr. Johnson passed away in 1956.

Rockwell's was started at the present 220 West Main location, later moved to 326 West Main, and was moved back to its original site in August of 1945 when Mr. Johnson purchased the 220 West Main Building.

The present location was completely remodeled and modernized by Mr. and Mrs. Johnson when the 220 West Main building was purchased in 1945. Still a modern, up-to-date jewelry store, the present location is a tribute to the foresight of the owners at the time Rockwell's was moved back to its present site.

Mr. and Mrs. Johnson have also acquired other Main Street property holdings which have increased in value as Denison has grown during the 50-year period Rockwell's has been in business.

For half a century Rockwell's policy has been to handle only leading lines of merchandise, many of which are best-known brand names to home owners.

 and Barton, Wallace, International, Heirloom, Alvin, sterling silver flatward; 1847 Rogers, Reed and Barton, Homes and Edward, plated silverware; Lennox, Bavarian, English Bone, Haviland, china;

Tiffin, Val St. Lambert, Pasco, Imperial crystal; Cardinal diamonds; Bulova, Elgin, Hamilton, Omega, and Cardinal watches; Prince Gardner line of leather goods; and, American Tourister luggage are some of the better known lines carried by Rockwell's Jewelers.


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