Skip to content

TN History for Kids

Clarence Saunders

Clarence Saunders
PHOTO: Society of Entrepreneurs

You may have seen a grocery store called Piggly Wiggly; a few of them are still around. What most people today don’t know is that Piggly Wiggly was the first great grocery store chain. It was started around 1915 by a Memphis man named Clarence Saunders, who built the chain from one to over a thousand locations in less than five years.

The Piggly Wiggly logo

Saunders later lost control of his company and started another grocery store chain called, oddly enough, Sole Owner of my Name. That chain closed during the Great Depression.

You can read more about Clarence Saunders and the Piggly Wiggly saga on the Memphis history page.

Today Saunders' former home, the Pink Palace, is a museum. Click here to be taken to its web site.

Clarence Saunders

In 1916, Clarence Saunders opened the first Piggly Wiggly in Memphis, TN, which is in Shelby County