Company History and General Information
In 1934 Harvey Turner left Madisonville for Navasota driving a large truck loaded with 1200 hoe handles and 2400 plow handles. With $10,000 Turner and his partner, J.L. Cooper, opened Cooper-Turner Hardware. In a 1974 interview with the Navasota Examiner Turner recalled:
“At the time (1934), farmers and stockmen were paid by the Federal government for killing cows and hogs. Money was in short supply. I had to trade my horse-drawn farm equipment for hay and other products to make a sale. Merchandise was very cheap. You could buy a roll or barbed wire for $3.75. Hoe and plow handles were 25 cents each and rope was 15 cents a pound. Good land was selling for $6 per acre.”
By 1940 business was booming and Turner bought out Coopers share. The next year, as World War II was getting underway, Turner decided to expand the business. Because of the war effort, there was little equipment available for purchase by private interest, so Turner decided to expand into the furniture business. For this Turner brought in G.S. Pierce to open furniture, appliance, and carpet departments. Turner soon made Pierce a partner and the store became Turner & Pierce Hardware and Furniture Company.
In 1961 the business joined the True-Value Hardware Cooperative. Turner decided to expand the business yet again in 1964 and opened an economy furniture store that featured economy-priced, used, and unfinished furniture. In 1969 Pierces son-in-law, Joe King Fultz, Sr., joined the business as a partner. At that time Pierce became the President of the company. A few years later in 1972 the name was changed for the last time to Turner, Pierce & Fultz.
The major change of 1972 was not the name but the location. Finally outgrowing the downtown building at 101 E. Washington the business relocated down the street to its current location at 604 W. Washington. With the low interest rates of the early 1970’s Turner was able to build a 30,000 sq. ft. tilt-up concrete building.
In 1976 Pierce’s other son-in-law, John Paul (Rusty) Fabian, joined the business. Unfortunately the group of four partners did not last long. In October of 1980 Turner died unexpectedly. A month later Fultz died of a heart attack. Their wives, Valaria Turner and Dian Fultz, succeeded them as Vice Presidents of the Board. Today Dian manages the furniture department. Fultz’s son, Joe King Fultz, Jr., joined the business in 1983 and now serves as Secretary/Treasurer of the Board. Fultz, Jr. also oversees appliances, electronics, Verizon Wireless, and Direct TV.
TPF got an early start on the cellular phone revolution by becoming a GTE Mobilenet (now Verizon) dealer in 1989. A few years later, in 1994, TPF entered the satellite TV market by becoming a Direct TV dealer.
Fabian became President & General Manager in 2000. In 2001 the business switched the franchise from True-Value Hardware to ACE Hardware.
Turner, Pierce & Fultz celebrated our 80th Anniversary in 2014 and we look forward to serving the Navasota and the surrounding Brazos Valley for many years to come.