Weldon Stevenson, 91, is the proprietor of W.S. Stevenson’s, a clothing, sewing and dry goods store that has stood across the street from the Shelby County Courthouse for 64 years. The Shelbyville shop is the last independent clothing store in the county and one of the last in Northeast Missouri.
The shop, which photographer Mike Kipley and I visited on a quiet Thursday afternoon, is an anachronism among the big-box stores that dominate even the rural landscape now. It’s also at the center of Stevenson’s life, as the place he has spent his entire adult life, save for a three-year stint in the Air Force.
Here, Stevenson shares some stories of his store’s history and his retail experiences.