A Look Back

By William “Skip” Deegans

Long-time residents of the Greenbrier Valley will probably remember the brightly painted C. J. Stores that dotted our area. Carrenna Jehu Casdorph, known to everyone as C.J., began his mercantile business in 1921 with a small cash and carry grocery store on Edgar Avenue in Ronceverte. In 1924, Casdorph moved his grocery to a larger space at the corner of Edgar Avenue and Frankford Road. Casdorph’s son, just out of high school, joined the business in 1928, and the Casdorphs opened a second store in Frankford. The third store was in Union. C.J. Casdorph and Son grew to 20 stores in Greenbrier, Monroe, Pocahontas and Summers counties and one in Paint Bank, Virginia. This week’s undated photo shows the warehouse in Ronceverte. Active in his community, C. J. was a founder and past president of the Ronceverte Rotary Club, elder in the Ronceverte Christian Church, a Mason, a director of Ronceverte National Bank, and past president of the West Virginia Grocers Association. He died in 1974.

Photo: Courtesy of Greenbrier Historical Society.

Sources: The Covington Virginian, The Independent Herald (Hinton), Beckley Post-Herald.

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