Community rallies after Jayton’s Kent County General Store destroyed by fire

Residents are coming together to help owners rebuild the town staple
Published: Sep. 28, 2022 at 6:14 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - In the small town of Jayton, the Kent County General Store was where families gathered to get groceries, play games, or watch TV, but on Sept. 25, tragedy struck.

Most of the general store, owned by the Ham family for nearly 11 years, burned to the ground.

Josh Stanaland, head coach at Jayton High School, says, “I was born and raised here in Jayton, so I remember the Kent County general store since birth.”

Embers from a smoker started the fire near the back of the store, while Tiffany and her husband were out of town. When the owners pulled up to what remained standing, they found a community standing with them ready to help.

Tiffany Ham says, “It has been the most humbling experience of my life, everybody coming together.”

We talked to Jayton citizens who said the store is not what was special, it is the family who owns it. When the family was in trouble, this small community sprang into action.

Missy Redford, a Jayton resident, says, “We are family, so this is what you do when things like this happen. They have served us, and now it’s time for us to serve them.”

Residents carried out burned goods, shoveled debris, tore down the damaged planks, and cleared the rubble. Hopefully, to make way for another 50 years of service.

Tiffany Ham says, “Our plan is to definitely rebuild...however long that takes.”

The next hurdle for the store to overcome is the distance from contractors. But, Tiffany says the Kent County General Store will get back to business as soon as possible.