After nearly 60 years in business Weldon's Saddle Shop & Western Wear will close with the retirement of its owner.
It was just after the end of World War II when Weldon Burgoon says he happened into buying a sewing machine and using skills he learned roping and working on saddles. 'During the depression you couldn't afford to hire somebody to do things, so it just kind of came as a second deal that I started making belts and purses,' he said.
Burgoon is 86-years-old and dealing with his wife's declining health and his own health issues. 'Getting old is not for sissies! There were just so many things that I'm not able to do. I'm on a walker. I've had four hip replacements and just got through with a knee replacement.'
But Burgood says it's not just age and health issues that lead to his decision to close -' increased competition and declining sales have also taken a toll. 'Retail is awfully tough for mom-and-pop stores,' he explained. 'We've got the internet, we've got the big box stores and frankly our business just hasn't grown.'
Weldon's has sat near downtown Denton, at the corner of Bell and East Hickory Street since 1957. The doors will close on January 14 -' after an anniversary sale. Auctions for remaining merchandise and western items used to decorate the store for the past six decades will start beginning in February and March.
Though his business is headed toward the end, Weldon Burgoon says the great memories will be with him always.
While he won't be at the store next year, Burgoon says he'll still be involved in the community and youth programs, as he has been for decades.