Our History

The 1819 General Store has mercantile roots that go back to 1819 when Elizabeth, Indiana was founded. For 200 years the same building at 49 Beech Street has been used as a mercantile store, operating with different owners over the years.

The previous owners of the building, Debbie and Emmett Wilson owned the store for forty years. For many years, Vincent Johnson would drink coffee at the store each morning. Occasionally, Vincent would recommend that Debbie and Emmett expand their offerings to start selling breakfast sandwiches and hot lunches. Debbie would always joke with Vincent, “When you finally buy the store, you can do that”. In 2019, Vincent Johnson and his wife Kathy Hensley purchased the historic building with plans to do just that. 

They renamed the mercantile “1819 General Store” to pay tribute to the longstanding history the building has had in Elizabeth, Indiana. While many things have changed since the town’s founding in 1819, Kathy and Vincent continue to use the store as a place to serve the Elizabeth community and visitors to their wonderful town.