My father, Bill Shaddock, moved to Lake Jackson in the early 1950's. I believe it was 1954 when he went to work for Gerland's grocery store as manager, just across the street from what would be Shaddock's Rainbow Supermarket in years to come. When he went to work, he made a deal with the Gerland brothers for a bonus based on profits and sales. Due to my dad’s efforts, the LJ store became the most profitable in the chain. As a result, the Gerlands intentionally started writing off tax expenses to that store, which cut into my dad's bonuses. From the beginning, my dad had told the Gerlands to hold onto his bonuses and he would ask for them in the future.
In 1957, due to the Gerlands’ action, he handed in his notice and asked for all of his bonuses. If I remember correctly, the amount was in the $50,000 dollar range. That was a fortune back then!
Because my dad was so well liked, the community encouraged him to open his own grocery store. At that time, Dow owned the land where the store and future shops would be located. Surprisingly, he talked Dr. Beutel into conducting a straw vote on a proposal to sell the land to him. Approximately 1,200 favorable votes were cast.
Only 19 voters wanted to use the land as a park. An outcome unheard of back then! So, Dad went to work putting together his plan. With backing from the local community and tremendous support from Groce Wearden, a huge grocery supplier in Houston, he was able to make his dream come true.
During the next year, he planned and built his new grocery store. In June 1958, Shaddock's Rainbow Supermarket opened its doors. My mother, Mildred Shaddock, cut the ribbon. Several employees from Gerlands followed my father. One I remember well, a man named Willie. Even after my father sold his business interests, he was still part of the family. In the photo below, he is shown sacking groceries. Subsequently, Dad opened stores in Angleton in the Beachway Shopping Center and in Dickinson.
I remember a funny story. A relative of Bing Crosby lived a few doors down from us on Poinsettia. One Christmas Mr. Crosby and family came to visit. My father had to open the store late at night for them to shop so they would not be bothered by the public.
Grand opening of Shaddocks
After opening the first Shaddock's, Dad formed the Lake Jackson Improvement Co., Inc. which became the parent company of his property and the rest of the block, apart from where the bank sat. Brockman's was located on this site, as well as a variety store. I think it was Wacker’s, but I’m not sure. The entire project cost close to $650,000 which was a tremendous amount back then!
In 1961-62, Buddy Baker, a friend of my father’s, walked into the grocery store and said to Dad, “Bill, let's open a bank.” They flew to Dallas to start the ball rolling. In September 1963, B. E. Shaddock and H.L. “ Buddy” Baker opened the doors of the First National Bank of Lake Jackson. My father also served on the Board of Directors at the Angleton Bank of Commerce.
In 1961, he travelled to Ft. Bliss with a select group of men from Lake Jackson to witness the firing of one of the first guided missiles. James Nabors from The Brazosport Facts and several other prominent businessmen were in the group.
In 1963, my father tried to retire and thus, sold the grocery stores to the Stanley Brothers from Bay City. My mother always told him, you wanted your younger daughter, Casey, so you need to retire to help rear her. He served in WWII when my brother and sister appeared, my sister being 18 years older than I. Retirement did not last long, however! In 1964, Dad went into partnership with Roland Travis. They opened Roland's restaurants all around the state. In 1968, he and three other men opened the Beacon Theatre in Angleton.
My dad was a board member of the Chamber of Commerce for years. In addition, he was a huge supporter of all charities, sports clubs, and the Methodist church. If he knew of a family in need, he would take groceries from the store to them. For fourteen years, I watched him help so many people. Even to those who had done him wrong, he would go back and help. When we lived on Surfside Beach while building our ranch, he helped build the Surfside Baptist Church.
My father was one of the most important men in the early days of Lake Jackson. He worked to make a town in which he felt comfortable, one with a foundation upon which to grow. Many people today might not remember the Shaddock
name, but many years ago it was an important part of the community. I am so proud to call Bill Shaddock my father, not because I am biased, but because he was a man of strong values, honesty, and honor. He never put himself above anyone else and he would help anyone in need. I, myself, have learned these values from both of my parents, and I hope I have carried the name forward through fundraising and by exemplifying their values. When my father passed away, the church at the cemetery could not hold all the people. Close to 1,000 stood outside. Simply a very special man!
by Casey Shaddock