Who is Braxton?

An interesting view into the history of Braxton’s Animal Works, in a letter written by Stan Moses.

The Answer to Who’s Braxton?
August 3, 2003

Go back to the year 1930, the year Max Moses took out a lease on 1517 Chestnut St., center city Philadelphia, opening the latest Cugley;s Pet Shop, becoming the anchor store and office of the two store operation…the other one was on the N.E, corner of 5th and Market Sts.

Go back still further to the year 1918, the year Max, a postal clerk at the 9th and Market St. post office…still in the same location today, was using his lunch hour to window shop stores on the North side Market St. and along 9th St. He encountered Cugley’s Pet Emporium and struck up a conversation with Derwyn Cugley at 52 N.9th St. The rest is history, as Max acquired the business, store fixtures and good will from Cugley in an agreement of sale typewritten on the letterhead of Cugley’s Petstock Emporium dated January 3rd, for the sum of $400.00. We have the original document framed on our “office” wall.

Simultaneously, another Cugley family member was operating Cugley and Mullen Pet Shop in an unrelated operation at 1231 Arch St. nearby.

Returning to 1930, somehow Max recruited the store manager of Cugley and Mullen, Ed Braxton, to join his firm as store manager. This union was a success for interpersonal relations and business conduct. Ed was an excellent performer.

Max in 1932, exercised his entrepreneurial skills still further and took over the Jolly Tar Pet shop on 69th St., Upper Darby, renamed it Cugley’s and closed down the 5th and Market location. A year later he leased a property in Strafford, PA on Lancaster Ave. which became known as Cugley’s Kennels.

It’s now 1938 and Max has reasoned that the remote Cugley’s Kennels was not justifying itself and needed a resident operator. He sold Ed Braxton on the notion that taking over the Cugley’s Kennels as the proprietor would be in his best interests. Now it became Braxton’s Kennels.

Not only did Braxton make it work, but he bought the property and as his family grew, he absorbed family members into the business. Son Bill succeeded his father after his death, well into his senior years, and another generation now operates the company while Bill Braxton enjoys retirement. John and Dave Braxton, Ed’s grandchildren together with siblings Francine and Jennifer and perhaps, unnamed others, now operate the business.

The Moses Family and the Braxton’s always enjoyed cordiality supported by mutual respect and trust, enjoying peripheral business exchanges, primarily via the per tag supplier/customer relationship.

So there you are, that’s Who’s Braxton.

Sincerly, your friend,
Stan Moses

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