E.C. Barton & Company’s story began in 1885 at a grocery store in Jonesboro, Arkansas. With the intention of building a new home, P.C. Barton stacked a load of lumber he had purchased behind his grocery store. As customers began to purchase the lumber he had intended to use for himself, the item was added as a sideline to the grocery store. Barton eventually sold the grocery store and incorporated his new business in 1902. It was called Barton Lumber & Brick. Barton acquired all the stock in the company in 1927, turning the business over to his son, Eugene C. Barton, the following year. The younger Barton was 20 when his father called him home from college to help in the lumber business. Eugene Barton learned his father’s philosophy on business. He later said, "I’ve spent my life insisting that my employees follow the same rule – treat your customers courteously, give him quality merchandise and stand behind everything you sell. Buy quality, buy satisfaction has always been our motto. It is better not to sell a customer at all, than to sell him once." E.C. Barton acquired additional lumber yards, as opportunities presented themselves. He died in 1967, passing on a legacy to the people in his business and in his community. The company continued to thrive, and in 1975 adopted an Employee Stock Ownership Plan. The company experienced significant growth over the next 21 years, including the development of the Surplus Warehouse division, the acquisition of several other chains and opening new locations in several states. The company expanded rapidly during 2006 with the acquisition of Grossman’s Bargain Outlet. The acquisition included locations in four states, and E.C. Barton & Company also experienced organic growth in the southeastern United States. Today, E.C. Barton & Company has stores in 15 states. Divisions of the company are Barton’s, Surplus Warehouse, Grossman’s Bargain Outlet, Builders Material Company and E.C.B. Brokerage.