Crosby Antique Mall to continue after sale

By David Taylor
Managing Editor

In just a few short weeks, Daniel and Jean Jones will have Crosby in their rearview mirror. The former owners of the Crosby Florist and Crosby Antique Mall will retire to the next chapter in their life and leave behind their work in the community for new owners. It will be bittersweet.

The couple has spent most of their lives living in the Baytown, Highlands, and Crosby area. Through it all, they found a way to give back and do their part in the community.

Jean was born in Fort Worth, and Daniel in Houston. Their paths crossed when they worked for DuPont and eventually married in 1998 and moved to Crosby in 1999.

Jean worked as a clerk in the purchasing department while Daniel, a Baytown Sterling graduate, went to work for Dupont in 1972, first in the warehouse and later as a rigger structural steel fitting and welding for heavy equipment.

“Jean retired after 25 years and me after 33 years,” he said.

With their savings, they embarked on a second career.

“The first commercial buildings we bought in Crosby was in 2001. We bought the log cabins on FM 2100 from the Walker family,” he said.

They opened Crosby Florist, where Jean was the master florist.

“I did whatever she told me to do,” he smiled. “I didn’t want to be a designer. I’d do the books, help clean, anything else.”

They had the log cabins for 8 years. In 2006, they bought the Crosby Antique Mall buildings from Rose Dance. They sold the log cabins in 2014. Daniel said they loved their community and made sure to include Crosby in naming the businesses.

“We just rented out spaces in the antique mall buildings for the last ten years. We sold them two years ago with a two-year commitment to help teach the business to the new owners until the end of March this year,” he said.

People would come into the business all the time.

“It’s not much different from a pawn shop,” he compared it to. “Some things we bought, others we didn’t.”

Jones also said he and his wife would travel to auctions often to buy for the store.

He was also glad to have internet and a computer.

“I don’t know how they were able to determine the prices on things 40 or 50 years ago,” he laughed.

Technology helped them but also having a broad knowledge of products didn’t hurt either.

When the Joneses sold the business, they made a two-year commitment to train any personnel they wanted to run the business to help the new owners, Marco and Addie Wu.

The building is the original Crosby State Bank, and it was built in 1913. It remains one of the oldest buildings in Crosby.

“There’s another one that’s older, but it’s been remodeled inside and out. Ours is still pretty much the original building,” he said.

Despite being near the railroad tracks didn’t hurt it.

“That’s a real solid building. It’s a double wall, brick building with mortar in between,” he said.

The upstairs quarters of the building were the original Crosby Czech Fest when it got started, the telephone exchange, and later a lawyer rented it out.

“In 1958, the building was sold to Ed Swanson. Ed built it out into a two-bedroom apartment and used the downstairs to sell appliances,” his daughter Donna Swanson Davenport said.

She said they lived upstairs until 1967 when they bought a house.

He later sold the business to Jack Noonan who had plans to turn it into a dance hall and bar, but it never materialized. The buildings went back to Swanson who then sold it to Rose Duda Dance.

Dance owned the buildings for six to seven years until the Jones family purchased it.

After almost 23 years of hard work and community service, they’re headed to Center, Texas.

“The house is already sold, and it’s almost empty now,” he said.

He’s planning on a few cows and planning a place where his kids and grandkids can come and relax too for vacation.

“Center is a nice little town. I think I’ll miss the people of Crosby the most. We have some good people around here. We met so many of them at the flower shop and antique mall,” he said.

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