Local family opens auto shop in Jemison

By Steven Calhoun/Staff Writer

Porter’s Automotive opened on Oct. 20 on Highway 31 in Jemison. It is one of the first in a wave of new businesses coming to the city.

Lynn Howard, the shop’s owner, has lived in Chilton County for 48 years, and has been doing business in Jemison for almost as long.

“I’ve been in business over 30 years. We were actually at the Texaco. We sold it back in May and we built this. We just got out of the gas part of it,” said Howard.

His new store opened Oct. 20. He moved from a location on Alabama 191, where he ran the Texaco station. According to Howard, the opportunity came to him without any searching.

“Somebody came and wanted to buy it. I never had really thought about selling it, and we got to talking about it,” said Howard. “I’ve been working all these hours all these years and it cuts probably 15 or 20 hours out of me working.”

In February, Howard started thinking about opening his own store. He and his wife Phyllis sold the Texaco on May 10 and started building the new one May 17.

Owners Phyllis and Lynn Howard in front of Porter’s Automotive, located at 24490 Highway 31 in Jemison.(Photo by Steven Calhoun)

Owners Phyllis and Lynn Howard in front of Porter’s Automotive, located at 24490 Highway 31 in Jemison.(Photo by Steven Calhoun)

They spoke about the family’s connection to Jemison and their decision to stay in the city.

“It’s where I’ve been all these years and I knew everybody,” said Howard.

“Jemison has supported us for over 30 years. We have a wonderful clientele and there’s nowhere else we would rather be than right here in Jemison,” said Phyllis Howard.

Howard said the transition into the new business went smoothly.

“It was very easy, really. The town worked with us. There were a few things we had to change, but that’s with anything,” said Howard.

Jemison Mayor Eddie Reed said the business is one of the first to complete construction recently, and noted the success Howard has had at the new location.

Howard was pleased to have support from local businesses and friends when it came time to get his new place started.

He said the business is proud to be in Jemison and the family hopes to continue their success in the city they have loved for so long.

“I hope that we can do well like we always have. We’ve always done good in Jemison,” said Howard. “By us being on 31, I think that’s going to help us … It’s been great, the first three weeks have been great. If it just continues, I couldn’t ask for any more.”

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