The Childress Building, located at 134 East Peachtree Street, was built in 1930. It is a two-story brick structure with vertical panels of tan tiles above second story windows and tile as lintels above second story windows and in panels below.

Before the most current renovation, the ground floor facade was covered with horizontal cedar siding. It features glass display windows on ground floor and a recessed entrance. It is currently used as an office building. It originally housed the Benson and Childress Hardware Store, named for owners John Benson and Cleve Childress. It was later managed by L. D. Cobb.

David Bradford and Charles Heath remember that the vacant lot next door was used as a tractor show lot for International Harvester farm equipment. The large, brick building facing Appletree was the Childress agency's repair garage. And David, whose father’s business The Locker Plant was located a building away, noted, “I spent my childhood playing on the Farmall Cubs.”

The Childress Farm Equipment lot was primarily stocked with International Harvester’s smallest tractor, the Farmall Cub, a nine-horsepower tractor that was marketed as a one-for-one replacement for a single mule. The turning plow sold with the Cub was a single-blade chisel design pretty much identical to the traditional mule-drawn plow. The Cub had been introduced in 1947 and was largely unchanged by the late 1950s when it cost around $600. The design of the Cub was unique in that the steering wheel and seat were offset to the right of the body of the tractor, allowing the farmer to better steer a narrow course through his row crops. Farmall called that offset “culti-vision.”

David and Charles also recalled that the last remaining single family house on the square belonged to Hunt Stuart. It was a frame house located next to Benson Childress. Hunt died in 1959 and the house passed to his son, Wyatt. It is not known if the family continued to occupy the house. Wyatt was on the school board in the 1950's and may have held public office. He died in 1990. Consensus is that the house was torn down in 1964.

The Childress Building continued as a hardware store through the early 1970s. The photo below is from the 1960 city directory. Partner John Benson died in 1956. Mr. Childress continued with the business until he sold in in 1965 to Lawrence Sebring who called it Sebring International (because he sold International Harvester products). In the 1966 city directory, both contiguous businesses—Childress Implement and Supply on the corner and Sebring Truck and Tractor International Harvester Farm Equipment (facing Appletree, the long brick building behind the hardware store)— coexisted. By the next year, Mr. Childress appears to have sold the hardware business. In 1972, Scottsboro Equipment Company is at this address. In 1975, Jackson Auto Parts is in this space. By 1976, the Chamber of Commerce occupied this building.

The building currently is the location of Finis Royal’s law practice and houses a suite of offices. It is known today as the Comax Building.

Current view: Comax Building

1930s: Benson Childress Hardware

1932 ad for Benson Childress from The Progressive Age

1950: business and tractor photo from the JCHS yearbook

1950s: First Monday Detail

Notice Benson Childress Hardware on the left, the Hunt Stuart House, and the tractors on display in this photo.

1950s: Benson and Childress employees

Jesse Tubbs posted this photo on FaceBook of the Benson and Childress Employees taken around 1950 and asked for help identifying the people in the photo. David Bradford, great grandson of Mr. Benson, points out that many of the folks in the photo are wearing uniforms with an International Harvester logo, and that this business was next door and Mr. Childress owned it as well.

Front row, L to R, Unknown, unknown, Willard Tubbs, Glenn Dawson, Gordon “Speck” Dawson (Speck), Cecil Childress (son of the owner)

Second row: unknown, Tom Sisk, unknown, unknown, Kenneth Kirby, Zeke, Cleve Childress

Third row: Harve, unknown, Mabel Childress, Laila Sisk

Jesse Tubbs told this story about Kenneth Kirby: “One year (near Christmas) one of the mechanics was sent to South Pittsburg to work on a tractor. Kenneth asked him to buy some firecrackers and gave him money. The fireworks were purchased and placed in a large grocery sack. Now Kenneth was said to have a dislike or fear of mice (rats). There was a big pot-belly stove in the shop and being Winter it was red-hot. As the sack was being handed to Kenneth, the mechanic shook it and it made a rattling noise. Kenneth hollered out that there was a *%!** rat in that sack...then immediately threw it into that stove. sounded like a war broke out in that big old shop. I heard that some of the workers were diving underneath equipment to avoid getting killed by flying debris.”

1960 city directory photo of Childress Implements and Supply