Whitt Hemp Company and its presence in Roxboro, North Carolina has been generations in the making. Starting in the 1930’s, Preston Thomas Whitt Sr. (Press Whitt) worked Eanes Oil Center assisting the residents of Roxboro in their heating needs and later partnered at Adcock Coal Yard. Press started the family tradition of forming relationships with the community and serving the people, which he passed onto his son, P.T Whitt (Preston Thomas Whitt Jr.).
(Whitt Family 1934)
In the 1950’s, after serving in WWII, P.T expanded on his father’s ideals and opened up Petco (“Pete-co”) Gas Station on the corner of what is now 501 and Old Durham Rd. The station operated until the 1970’s and was the last stop for gas before leaving Roxboro. Being located on the main thoroughfare connecting Durham to South Boston, P.T enjoyed engaging with his customers and sharing in their stories much like his wife Dorothy Whitt who owned and operated Carolina Beauty Shop in Uptown Roxboro.
(Whitt Family 1950's)
Dorothy and P.T had 4 children, and their son Pete (Preston Thomas Whitt III) and daughter-in-law Debbie (formally Deborah Stowe of Semroa) went on to continue serving the community. After returning from his service in the U.S Air Force, Pete and Debbie opened up a ceramic shop in Uptown Roxboro before Pete went on to serve the community through his work with Loxcreen and later through the creation and operation of Bars Plus in the 1990’s. Pete and Debbie believed that community is family. Continuing with the family tradition of community, family, and connections, Pete and his son Thomas (Preston Thomas Whitt IV) opened Pete’s Collectables in the late 1990’s selling baseball cards and later coins. Pete retired in the early 2000’s, but Thomas continues to operate Pete’s Collectables with Whitt Hemp Company serving as a subsidiary.
(Pete and Debbie Whitt with the grand kids)
Thomas hopes to continue to live in the tradition that was stated in Roxboro almost 100 years ago with a focus on community as family as he passes on his ideals to his own children.