January 25, 2016 Edition

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Davis family has long history
in WR business world

Things seem to have come full circle for the Davis family. Dirk Davis who has many stories to share from his time working for his father and grandfather at Piggly Wiggly in Walnut Ridge, is now the head of another family business, Davis Chiropractic, with his daughter, Scout, employed as the office manager.

Gretchen Hunt

While the family business may have changed, the principles that make a good businessman remain the same, according to Dirk Davis, owner of Davis Chiropractic in Walnut Ridge.

Dirk, who can recount many stories from the time his family owned a very successful Piggly Wiggly store in Walnut Ridge, now has the opportunity to work with his daughter Scout, who is serving as office manager at Davis Chiropractic.

"A lot of the lessons I learned working at the grocery store for my grandfather have really stood the test of time," Dirk said.

He said while some things have changed through the years, and he is now in a different kind of business, the basics are the same.

"Treat people the way you want to be treated," he said. "Treat everyone with the same amount of respect."

He recalled when his dad was sick and he was uncertain of what the future was going to hold and he was telling his dad that he didn't know if he could run a business.

"He told me, 'If you can deal with people you'll be OK,'" Dirk said. "You have to serve the public."

History recounted

Sometime after World War II, Dirk's grandparents, Leo and Dorothy Davis, started a Piggly Wiggly store in the building that now houses Adrianna's Mexican Restaurant. After a short time in that location, the store moved to Southwest Front Street, across from the historic depot, which houses the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce.

"In 1959, they enlarged the building to two times its size," Dirk said. "The 16,000-square-foot store was the largest grocery store in the state for a short time."

Dirk's father, Don Davis, known by most as "Deduck" followed in his father's footsteps and ran the grocery store until his death in 1980. Dirk said his father had discussed selling the store during his illness, and neither he nor his brother, Miles, who were both still young, were really in a position to run it, but the store remained open a few more years, at the wishes of Dirk's grandfather.

After the store sold in 1983, Dirk went into the service and then enrolled in chiropractic school. After completing his degree, he practiced at Jonesboro for four years, but he never really considered anywhere but Walnut Ridge as home.

"Ironically, when I first moved my practice to Walnut Ridge, I was located in the Adrianna's building that originally housed the Piggly Wiggly," Dirk said.

After about a year, a new building was constructed in July of 1996 at the present location, where Davis Chiropractic has been in operation for nearly 21 years.

Coming full circle

Once again, Dirk finds himself as part of a family business, with his daughter, Scout, serving as office manager at the clinic.

Scout worked in the office for a while after graduating from high school in 2012, but in January of 2013 she enrolled in cosmetology school. In November of that year she moved to Jonesboro and started doing hair. While she liked doing hair, she was not happy away from her hometown.

"I hated it," she said. "When I lived in Jonesboro, I knew nobody and nobody knew my name. Here I know people, and they know me."

She said she missed working in her dad's office and getting to visit with the patients.

"In Jonesboro I felt like a small speck in a big pond," she said. "When I moved back, I didn't just move back to my immediate family - I moved back to a huge extended family."

After returning to Walnut Ridge in 2015, Scout has been able to get the best of both worlds, not only working in the family business, but also doing hair part-time at The Hair Trend in Walnut Ridge.

Dirk can completely understand his daughter's desire to come home, because it is also what brought him back to Walnut Ridge and his family, including his mother, Carol, who passed away in 2009.

He and his wife, the former Debbie Franks, also a Walnut Ridge native, returned with a young Scout, and her older brothers, Zach, who now works for Cavenaugh Chevrolet, and Jeb, who farms with Ronald Cavenaugh.

"We came back here because this is where we wanted to raise our kids," Dirk said.

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