The building in which we are located was built by A.J. Hunt in 1895. It originally housed a saloon, but a local prohibition ordinance ended that in about 1898. At around the same time the saloon closed, a drug store owned by James Board and Ebenezer Chorn, which had been located on the west side of the street, burned. They moved their drug store to the vacated saloon. The building was purchased by a local family, C.A. Smith & Sons, in 1910. Captain Smith had moved his family to the Mansfield area from Georgia after the Civil War.
In 1919, Mr. Chorn bought out the business interest of Mr. Board, and he operated Chorn's Drug Store on this site until he sold it to his son, Jim. The business name was changed to E.H. Chorn & Son Drug Store. The business was sold again, this time to Frank Mayfield and Roy Gaulden; Jim Chorn worked as a pharmacist at the store until he retired in 1952. Mayfield bought out Gaulden in 1927, and the business operated as Mayfield Drugs until 1954 when the new purchaser, Mr. Loyd Green, applied for a license to operate the business as a Rexall Drug store.
In 1961, Mr. Lee Roy Ray purchased the drug store. He later moved his business to South Main Street, and founded what is now known as Ray's Pharmacy.
During this time, there were two long-time physicians who had their professional offices in the back of this building. Dr. Harry D. Nifong (1881-1959) and Dr. Raymond Thomas (1889-1951) each occupied the last twenty feet of the building, one on either side of the central hall.
In 1968, the building was sold to Dr. Percy Cook by the Smith Family to get money to take care of C.A. Smith's last surviving daughter, Miss Moreland Smith, who ultimately lived to be 99 years old.
In 1972, the building was sold to Charles & Ann Vess, and, in 1977, they rented it to a newly-licensed optometrist, Robert A. Smith, the great-great-grandson of C.A. Smith. Dr. Smith purchased the building in 1981, taking the building full-circle and back into the Smith family.
Photos courtesy of Mansfield Historical Society and Green Doors Studio