J. Garland Warren Provenance Note – Garths 9-6-2013

A painted pine chimney cupboard with paneled doors and cutout feet, attributed to Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, first half of the 19th century

p4A ItemID E8912330
An open step-back cupboard in red paint with white interior, poplar, America, 19th century

p4A ItemID E8912170
A pine step-back cupboard in buttermilk paint, with four paneled doors and bracket feet, America, mid 19th century

p4A ItemID E8912011
A pine bench in gray paint, with shaped apron and cutout feet, America, 19th century

p4A ItemID E8910663

J. Garland Warren

J. Garland Warren was the quintessential good ole boy, a quiet man who valued family, friends, faith and quite frankly was simply known as the man with the best burger in town. Warren is one of the most successful businessmen to ever put down roots in San Marcos, TX, but you’d never know it unless someone told you. Most days, you could find Warren in his Centerpoint Station store with his famous white cowboy hat perched just right, chatting with customers – better known as friends.

Warren was born on a cotton farm outside Denton and, when only in second grade, his father became quite ill. Warren stepped up to the plate and sat out that year of school to pick cotton and run the farm. During high school, Warren was recruited to North Texas State University on a football scholarship, a sport in which he excelled. After college, Warren left for Canada to play in the Canadian Football League for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. He happened to join the team in the midst of its “glory years” helping the team win the CFL’s Grey Cup in 1958, 1959, 1961 and 1962, all the while honing his business skills, selling North Texas State T-shirts out of the back of his car.

In 1965, the Warren family, which now included three children, settled in San Marcos, TX. It was there on cold night when the need for a gallon of milk sparked the idea for an enterprise.”We were down visiting some friends in San Marcos. We had a baby and I had to go out and get some milk late at night,” Warren said. “There weren’t any stores open. One of the stores was closing, and there was a mouse trap set up in the corner. I decided this town deserved better.” Today, that ingenious idea has turned into 48 Sac N Pac convenience stores across Texas.

Despite working late nights and long hours getting his business off the ground, Warren also found time to “dabble” in antiques and horses. Warren would have 100 head of horses at a time and ran at least one horse sale a year.While his stores were his business, antiques quickly became Warren’s passion. He started out collecting advertising signs that were not in the best condition. However, by attending auctions and shows, he soon realized that condition was everything. Warren said. “We’d go to auctions during the week in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Vermont (searching for antiques], this was a vacation for me. I loved it.” It’s hard to say he had a favorite between these two loves of horses and antiques, but he was known to say, “I always liked antiques better than horses because they didn’t die and they got better with age.” In 1993, Warren eventually incorporated all of these interests which brought him joy in one store, known as Centerpoint Station. Centerpoint is a general store offering antiques and ice cream, and today one of the most famous burgers in town.

Warren retired from Sac n Pac in 2000, but he would still hang out at Centerpoint Station. He enjoyed educating the younger collectors on craftsmanship and would always promise those making purchases, “I’ll buy (it) back from you anytime for what you paid. Just don’t strip it!”

Warren’s daughter, Cheryl, summed it up best saying, “Early on it was about the hustle. Later it was all about enjoying visits with old friends and buying one great item at a time.” Such a great collecting philosophy! Garth’s is proud to be offering The J. Garland Warren Country Store, Advertising and Americana Collections over the next several months.

Excerpts taken from Discover Magazine 2008 article by Jeff Walker

Information courtesy of Garth’s Auctions, September 2013


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