By MINDY MCKENZIE
Daily Globe Staff Reporter
SHELBY- After serving the community of Shelby for over 100 years, the Hancock Agency is closing its doors.
Co-owner John Hancock explained the building was bought around 1907 and then following that the real estate/insurance business began.
“Grandpa (CJ) Laser had insurance, real estate, and stocks. He bought and sold all of the local stocks and then our dad, Win Hancock, went in around the 1930s. Then, it began Laser and Hancock and then we bought out our dad and then it became the Hancock Agency,” Hancock stated.
Hancock explained after he got out of the service around 1970, him and his brother Scott officially bought the building and the insurance company.
Scott was in the Army from 1958-1961 and John was in the Army from 1968-1970.
Scott explained he had been in the business for about 65 years and John had been in for about 55 years.
“It is a lot to think about that it has been in the family for that long and then all of a sudden it is going to be gone. When I got out of the service and we bought it from dad, he stayed there for a while and it was kind of neat to have all three of us in there together. We learned the business from them,” Hancock stated. “We also had our loyal secretary, Ann Mott, who was there for us. She was with for over 20 years.”
Hancock went over some of the reasons why the business was closing.
“There are a couple of things. We have no one in our family who wants it and we have gotten pretty small. We sold the insurance business about five years ago and we were still messing around with the real estate. Like everything else, business just changed a lot. We (Hancock and his brother) both have health issues and the problem was who wants a downtown building with no parking,” Hancock said.
Although, Hancock continued and explained someone did actually approach the brothers about buying the building.
“The building was sitting there and it has very little value to it. When someone approached us and asked us if we were interested in selling, that was like a message from above that said now is your time,” Hancock said. “Webers sold to their youngest son, Lance Gutchall, and Lance has got some big ideas on what he wants to do with Webers. With it being right next door, it’s the only place he has got to expand. I’m real happy with it and it was just the thing to do.”
Hancock explained Gutchall currently owns the building now, however, they have until the first of January to get everything removed.