Conway Hyder calls it quits after a lifetime in business


     Conway Hyder is pictured with his three great-grandchildren, twins Madelyn and Dawson O'Quinn and Patrick O'Quinn, who live next door to him. Hyder has retired from his business on W. Elk Avenue, after working most of his life in the coal and feed and seed business.


 
  rhardin@starhq.com
  Conway Hyder is calling it quits after spending most of his life in the mercantile business.
  Hyder, a native Carter Countian and a lifelong resident of Stoney Creek, began working with his father, the late J.L. Hyder, when just a boy. "He has spent practically his entire life in the business," said his son, Jimmy Hyder.
  The father-son business began with a coal yard, begun by his father in 1932. In 1954, the two Hyders opened the present business on W. Elk Avenue. "It was the first building built by J.I. Cornett after he entered the contracting business," said son, Jimmy.
  J.L. Hyder and Son not only sold coal, but feed seeds, fertilizers, and some heating units as well as lawn equipment. When the business opened on W. Elk Avenue, Conway joined his father as a partner in the business.
  Conway recalls that his father began with the coal business on the ET&WNC tracks on W. Elk Avenue near the present location. For a number of years, his father operated a feed and seed business as a sideline at his Stoney Creek farm.
  When the present building was constructed, the feed and seed operation was moved to it. A newspaper article from November 1954, noted that the store, which had been a dream of the Hyders for many years, was big and roomy. "It allows space for display of merchandise, but has its refinements, too, just like the push-door operation of the big doors which Mr. Hyder can open and close from a panel within his office," the article read.
  Hyder sold quality coals such as Old Virginia, Queen, Charlotte, Queen Mary, and Red Bar.
  Nutrena Feeds was a big line in the feed business and Agro Seeds was the main line of seeds for the Hyder business. Hyder noted that he used to sell a lot of coal as well as seeds and fertilizer, but with more and more homes switching to other forms of heating, the coal business became almost nonexistent. And, with the decline in farming, seeds and fertilizer are no longer the business it once was.
  However, son Jimmy operates Hyder Carpets, located on W. Elk Avenue next to the feed store.
  Hyder, now 80 years old, spends a lot of his time visiting his wife, Newland, who is in a nursing home. Mrs. Hyder is a retired school teacher.
  He also takes time each day to spend with his three great-grandchildren -- Patrick, Madelyn and Dawson O'Quinn, who live next door to him on Stoney Creek. "They are his pride and job," said his daughter, Norene Allen.
  Hyder will formally close his business at the end of the year.