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First Montgomery County Historical Marker Awarded to Shepard Barber Shop
Since 1912, five generations of local Conroe men, their sons and grandsons needing a haircut or a shave have sat in the chairs of what is now Shepard’s Barber Shop at 116 Simonton Street in downtown Conroe. On Oct. 13, the Montgomery County Historical Commission dedicated the first Montgomery County Historical Marker at the barbershop, which is considered to be the oldest barbershop in continuous use in Montgomery County, possibly the oldest in Texas.
The fire in February 1911 destroyed much of the downtown Conroe area; within months the city started to rebuild from the ashes. Pete West, who was on the first City Council of Conroe, and his son John Henry “Jack” West, who later became the third Mayor of Conroe during the 1930’s oil boom, lost their two-story building on the corner of Main and Simonton streets. They started rebuilding the Corner Pub building within months of the fire, using brick this time instead of wood. Jack’s wife, Susie, had a cousin, Willie Mae, who was engaged to Henry Williamson, who had lost his barbershop in the fire. Jack and Susie wanted to help Willie Mae and Henry, so Jack and his father used leftover building materials from the rebuilt Corner Pub to build a little building behind theirs that Henry could use to start his new barbershop. For years this building was known as the “Little Jack West Building.” The building was completed in December 1911, and Henry set up his barbershop in January 1912; he and Willie Mae were married in October 1912. Henry operated his barbershop from 1912 until he sold the business to Stovall Thomas in 1938, who sold it to Warren Stubblefield in 1968.
Bobby Shepard began as a barber at the shop in 1959 and in 1971 purchased the business from Warren and began leasing the building from the West family. In 2000 he purchased the building from the West heirs and restored the exterior in 2007 through a City of Conroe grant.
Leon Apostolo began his career as a barber in this shop when he was 17 years old. He purchased the barbershop business in 2013 when Bobby retired. Bobby still owns the historic building.
The shop’s walls hold a priceless collection of historic photos of old Conroe buildings and of the town’s notable personalities, such as an original poster of the world boxing championship fight between Floyd Patterson and Cut-N-Shoot’s Roy Harris in 1958.
Visit the shop, and walk back in time to see the history of Conroe and days gone by.
The Montgomery County Historical Commission provides the content for this page.
For information on the commission and its efforts, visit montgomerycountyhistoricalcommission.com