ABERDEEN – R.G. Buxton will celebrate his 99th birthday April 9, and the store he opened shortly after World War II, Buxton’s Jewelry Store, turned 71 in November. His namesake and legacy are associated with Aberdeen Main Street, and the lessons he passed along to his daughter, Bonnie Conner, keep that lineage alive.
“He worked until he was 95 when he was still setting stones,” she said. “I started working here when I was 13 and a half. I learned from him to appreciate our customers and also good work ethic.”
She also learned about jewelry and watch repair. In her adult years, she worked at Thomas Jewelers in Tuscaloosa and went on to attend Trenton Jewelry School in Memphis. She and her husband, Lane, eventually moved back to Aberdeen in 1985 to go into business with her father.
On the jewelry end, the store sells 10K and 14K gold; sterling silver jewelry; diamond rings, earrings, pendants and bracelets; rings; necklaces; watches; and money clips.
On the music side, which dates back to the 1950s, Buxton Music Central offers guitars, drums, keyboards, harmonicas, ukuleles, music books, microphones, amplifiers and other pieces of sound equipment. Its brands include Peavy, Yamaha, Mapex and Blue Ridge.
“As far as I know, it’s the second oldest music store in the state. Mississippi Music started a few years before us. As far as I know, we’re the largest music store in north Mississippi. If you draw a circle, people come from as far away as Hamilton, Detroit and Fayette, Alabama and New Albany, Corinth, Booneville and Houston,” Lane said.
For years, both sides of the business shared the same space, but the music side moved into the space next door in August 2008. More recently, Lane has come to offer private music lessons at the store and also at Aberdeen Pentecostal Academy.
While several churches frequent Buxton Music Central for sound system needs, several couples frequent Buxton’s Jewelry Store for symbols leading up to their holy matrimony.
“With the wedding business, engagement and diamond rings are what we sell the most as far as diamonds,” Bonnie said.
Next to retail, the jewelry store also offers repair services, stone setting, sizing and mounting.