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This is a contributing entry for M.B. Mayfield Heritage Trail and only appears as part of that tour.Learn More.

The “Tutor Brothers’ Store'' was a central part of the community and everyday life for the citizens of Ecru, Mississippi, and Pontotoc county. The Tutor store was a family-run business serving gas to passing cars and providing the essentials of life to the local community, such as the painter M.B. Mayfield who grew up in this rural Mississippi town. The large Tutor family was able to keep the “Brothers’ Store” for a while until it was eventually turned into a Church for the local congregation; despite changing services, the same building still serves the public of Ecru, Mississippi.

Tutor Brothers' Store

painting of country store

The local markets and stores within the community inevitably become central aspects of that town or city, but in smaller, more rural towns such as Ecru, Mississippi, these markets and shops are essential to everyday life. The Tutor family was and still is today an extensive and influential family in Ecru and Pontotoc County, Mississippi, even having quite a lengthy book in the University of Mississippi archive about their family history. With small towns such as Ecru having a small population it causes most everyone to know each other or of each other because of the close community which rallies around central locations and in Ecru that was the “Tutor brothers’ Store”.

While researching M.B. Mayfield and his life many connections were made between members of the Tutor family and Mayfield. The Tutor family had connections throughout the town and country because of their Store and because “Rolling Store,” which is exactly how they sound. Rolling Stores, starting in New York in the early 1900s, were very similar to modern food trucks, but during this time they were more than just convenient. Many families such as M.B. Mayfield did not grow up economically privileged because they grew most of what they needed but something they needed to buy without a car that could be miles. This is where Rolling Stores came into play, allowing the business owner to bring the shop to you, helping both parties. The leading “Tutor Brothers’ Store” and the rolling store kept the Tutors well connected with Mayfield and most of the town but members of the family will go above and beyond what is expected of them. 

The Oral histories give an exciting insight into hearing real people’s voices and emotions as they recount their stories. The story is told by Mr. John Afamasaga, a New Zealander, who moved to Oxford and fell in love with his work even connecting with some people who actually knew Mayfield, Afamasaga recounts hearing about Phil Tutor and that the Tutor family ran the rolling store which had a large influence on Mayfield's work. Another Oral history that spoke out was from a Senior United States District Judge and Ecru native, Glen Davidson, and he recounts a time when Mr. Knox Tutor, one of the two people on the Ecru School Board, came to Davidson’s father's house because Knox heard that the Klu Klux Klan may attempt something that night. Mr. Knox Tutor and Mr.Davidson sat out, and when the KKK arrived, Mr.Tutor shot some rounds into the air from his pistol, causing the Klan to dissipate. These stories tell us the influence and impact which the Tutor family and the “Tutor Brothers’ Store” had upon Ecru, Mississippi, and M.B. Mayfield.

Afamasaga, John Reyer and Mason, Scott, "Afamasaga, John" (2021). Oral History Interviews. 1.

Davidson, Glen H. and Slaughter, Lillian, "Davidson, Glen" (2021). Oral History Interviews. 3.

South, Lynda J., "Roadways Rolling Stores Article" (1973). James R. Atkinson Family Papers. 56.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

University of Mississippi