The city's sole remaining furniture store, and one of Payson's oldest operating businesses, has the philosophy of "all in the family," according to its owners.

Spencer's Home Furnishings, 67 N. Main, has employed almost solely, and has been owned exclusively, by members of the Spencer family during its 25 years, current owner Stan Spencer said.Spencer took over the business this year from his father, who retired in March, and he, his wife and their children have taken over the store's daily operations.

According to Spencer, in 1965 the family owned a sheet metal business and was looking for a new building out of which it could operate.

He said his father was not looking to get into the home-furnishings business at the time, "but my aunt talked him into it."

Spencer's father essentially took over operations from a previous furniture store at that site, he said. "We were originally just going to buy the building and move our sheet-business there. We had no intentions of going into furniture."

But evidently, Spencer's aunt was extremely persuasive and talked her brother into using the former furniture store for just that purpose and buying some of the previous owner's backstock, he said.

Also, the family sold the sheet metal operations to another family-owned and operated business, Moore Sheet Metal, Spencer said. "It just kind of came out of the blue, this whole thing.

"I guess what we were after was a business in which the family could work," he said. "It just seemed like that was a nice way for us to go."

From its humble beginnings, the business has expanded into other product lines, such as home appliances, carpeting and linoleum, he said. "We decided that to survive we needed to carry other goods for our customers."

Also, the store has invented a unique gift-list service. People desiring wedding gifts or other presents for family and friends can either pay for a gift certificate or have the business select a suitable present, he said.

Though two other furniture stores have come and gone since the Spencer store opened, the clientele has been loyal enough to keep the Spencers in business, he said.

"Though a lot of people go out of the city to buy their goods, we've had a very good relationship with the town and its people. I hope we've rewarded them by staying here so long. It's a great town."

Spencer himself worked in the family store for four years before moving to other jobs, including a job at Geneva Steel, but said he always was looking to get back into the business.

"I was born and raised in Payson, and I wanted to always stay here, and this way seemed as good as any. We'll be here for as long as the city will let us."