No doubt, Auburn News readers have heard it said many times
that women simply can't get along in business.
To belie that statement, however, one has to look only to the
operation of Irene's Shop on the "main drag" in Auburn.
Two women, Miss Irene Neal and
Miss Cola Turner, have operated this clothing store
for more than 27 years without anything that approached a major disagreement and they also
Women-like though, they didn't rush to tell this
reporter their ages. Let's drop that subject.
Miss Neal, born in Auburn, the daughter of a one-time salesman
for Marshall field, and a great niece of Miss Mary Darby, a well known milliner of the old
day, who sold the latest feathers or flowers to the town folk.
Miss Neal began clerking for an uncle, Minor
graduating from Auburn Seminary, later for P. T. Neal. She worked in the post
office and a
grocery store before beginning her own business.
Remembers First Customer
On Sept. 1, 1925, she and her partner, Miss Cola Turner launched their business.
Miss Neal remembers her first customer, Mrs. Ollie Hutcheson, who bought a spool of thread.
Miss Turner, the daughter of a doctor, came to Auburn with her
parents in 1910. She attended Maryville College, Maryville, Tenn., after graduating from
high school here.
Both of these businesswomen keep a sharp eye for collecting antiques, in addition
to keeping up the many details of running a clothing store for men, women and children,
and operating a floral agency.
Miss Turner has also found time to be correspondent for the
News-Democrat in Russellville, and now the Auburn News.
Miss Neal is a member of the First Christian church and Miss
Turner belongs to the first Presbyterian.