Phillip Casstevens always had what the customer wanted.
“Phil’s place was packed to the ceilings with merchandise,” said Larry Irwin, owner of Elk Pharmacy. “But you could go in and ask for something, he would go to the back and come out with exactly what you needed.”
His niece, Deborah Swift of Swift Real Estate, says, “He was a master of matching paint and had everything in his store you could imagine in that three floor store. I can still see the onion and corn seeds that people would buy for their gardens.”
Casstevens owned Casstevens Hardware in downtown Elkin for 41 years. The store was located where Twenty One & Main is now. Before Twenty One & Main, the building was also the Elevator Restaurant.
“Phil’s store had an elevator, which made it special,” Irwin said. “It was built in 1895 and already had safety features. Such as if the elevator would start to fall, it had devices that were supposed to grab the wall and stop it. I only rode in it once.”
Casstevens died on May 10, 2012, at the age of 85, but he still provides fond memories to his friends and family.
Swift remembers him as a “gentle giant.”
“He extremely tall, but he was a very soft spoken man and always smiled. I don’t think I ever saw him angry over twice in my life,” Swift said. “He was a gentle giant.”
Casstevens always made time for everyone in his store.
“It didn’t matter how busy he was, he had time for everyone,” Swift said. “He did very well with his business to be in such a small town. He was a great encouragement to everyone who knew him.”
Casstevens was married to his first wife, Mary, for about 50 years. Mary passed away with cancer. He later married his wife Mildred, who he was married to for 17 years.
“It was a Main Street love story when he and Mildred met,” Swift said. “She was wonderful to him and fought the good fight while Phil was sick. I’m so thankful Mildred came into his life.”
Reach Jessica Pickens at 835-1513 ext. 18 or firstname.lastname@example.org.