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W. H. Shadburn spent nine years working for R. H. Allen Tannery. Before coming to Macon, he spent an additional nine years working with leather by manufacturing harnesses, collars, and saddles at Shadburn Brothers in Buford, Georgia. Then in 1919, he came to Macon to work with his brother in the leather business. Within three years, he was operating his own leather business.
Mr. Shadburn's leather shop was located downtown on Third Street close to three livery stables which was advantageous because people would take their horse and buggy to work and store them there in the stables. Through the years, the harness industry faded as the automobile industry grew in popularity making automotive trim Mr. Shadburn's main line of business.
During the depression, everyone did "whatever it took" to survive. Mr. Shadburn did the same by eventually working from his residence. Over the years, the business grew and Mr. Shadburn established the business right in his own backyard. With his wife, Nellie S. Shadburn, by his side, they built the business and raised four children, two daughters and two sons. While every family member was involved, Mr. Shadburn's two sons, Art and Tommy Shadburn, learned the trade and eventually became accomplished upholsterers. Art eventually joined the Navy while Tommy continued working in the family business. In 1976, W. H. Shadburn passed away and Tommy Shadburn carried on the family business. In 1999, a new building was constructed and the business was relocated to its present location on Woodfield Drive. In 2016, Tommy Shadburn passed away, and today his son, Darrell Shadburn carries on the family business.
Darrell Shadburn learned early in life from some great craftsmen. He learned how to be a skilled upholsterer and the importance of carrying on the reputation that his ancestors worked so hard to build.