Blackburn’s Grocery: A High Street favorite remembered

Virginia Wood Davis Archives| El Progreso Memorial Library Blackburn’s Grocery, as it appears on page 182 of the 1962 Uvalde High School yearbook.

Memories of Blackburn’s Grocery at 828 N. High St. date back to a time before World War II.

Dexter Stephens’ son Sam Stephens, born in 1934, remembers when his family lived on Black Street about two and a half blocks from the store.

“When I was about 4 or 5 years old, we were playing in the backyard and decided we wanted some candy, so we gathered up some marbles and other items. We went to the store and told Mr. Blackburn we wanted some candy. He asked about money and we showed him our treasure. When he said we had to have some money to buy candy, we tried to talk him into trading. He gave us some penny candy and then gave us a ride home.”

Lawrence Ray Smith, former Uvalde resident, recalls that during WWII, Blackburn’s was a collection point for bacon grease or any kind of cooking fat as a pound of grease could produce a pound of explosives.

“As a little boy,” Smith says, “I was intrigued with the idea that ‘A skillet of bacon grease is a little munitions factory.’”

Raymond C. Blackburn and his wife, Ara Pearl, were known for their generosity and loved by those who frequented their store. Linda Ham Stewart, a 1960 Uvalde High School graduate, who lived on Oppenheimer at the time, recalls that the Blackburns were members of First Baptist Church and active in the community.


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