- About Us
The Gibbs family has been an integral part of Hyde County since the 1600’s. Some of the properties now owned by the Gibbs family were acquired by the Gibbs’ ancestors by Land Grants from the King of England.
Gibbs Store was established in 1895 by Charles Ebenezer Pettigrew Gibbs, born April 8, 1839, (known as C. E. P.). Mr. C.E.P. was married five times.
Two sons were born to Mr. C. E. P., Frank and Closs Gibbs. Mr. C.E.P. retired at the age of 55 and died May 10, 1933, at the age of 95.
Gibbs Store, LLC, as it is now known, was built in the late 1800’s. The store business, farming operations and land acquisitions were expanded by Closs Gibbs.
The business of Closs Gibbs consisted of livestock sales and trades, which included horses, mules, cattle, poultry and swine. Fertilizer, seed, fruits and vegetables were bought and sold, as well.
Closs Gibbs owned the first John Deere Dealership and the first McCormick Dealership in Hyde County. In addition, Closs Gibbs owned sailing vessels used to deliver freight into Engelhard, using Far Creek.
Gibbs Store has always been, and continues to be today, a General Merchandise business. In the early years, products included buggies, wagons, various farm implements, as well as other farm-related items and supplies.
The business day began early and ended late. The store was generally open until 11:00 at night. The reason for the late hour was due to the locals living and working outside the Village of Engelhard. Thus, the majority of the trading was done at night and on weekends when the neighboring citizens came to town.
In addition to the general merchandise items, a milliner’s shop was located inside the store.
Land purchases, trades and sales were ordinary family business transactions, as they continue to be today.
In 1920, Closs Gibbs, along with four other investors, chartered the Engelhard Banking & Trust Company.
In 1929, after the stock market crash, President Roosevelt ordered all banks in the United States closed. The Engelhard Banking & Trust Company remained open because the President’s message to close was not received. In Engelhard, it was business as usual!
The name of the Engelhard Banking & Trust Company was later changed to The East Carolina Bank. The East Carolina Bank has 24 branches located along the North Carolina coast. The Headquarters and Corporate Offices for The East Carolina Bank remain in Engelhard.
Closs Gibbs was the father of three sons and one daughter. Charles Gilbert Gibbs (known as Gilbert) was born in 1923. By the age of 21, Gilbert Gibbs was the only survivor of his immediate family.
Gilbert Gibbs, assisted by his Uncle Frank Gibbs, continued operating the family business and later, became the president of The East Carolina Bank. During the 1980’s, Gilbert resigned as president of the bank, but remained on the Board of Directors until his death in 2001.
Gilbert, like his father, was an entrepreneur. Gilbert developed a residential rental- home business. At one time, Gilbert was co-owner of a corporation that operated a gas and oil business in Texas. Gilbert continued to expand into heavy equipment operations, custom machine work, timber and operating saw mills.
Today, the entrepreneurial spirit continues through Gregory C. Gibbs, Charles G. Gibbs, Jr. and Regina A. Gibbs, who now operate and manage the family business.
Gibbs Store, LLC has expanded the hardware and general merchandise products. Recently, the second story of the store was opened for business, where numerous items are now offered. These products are listed and described on our Home Page.
Other businesses include Lake Landing Realty and Dark Wood Farms Wildlife Management.
Gibbs Store is more than a General Merchandise Store; it is a store with a past.