Lovelia Edwards, the widow of Stephen Edwards, helped her late husband start his business in the late 1940s.
“The businesses started in 1948, and he carried on with it, and just before he got sick, his son bought it from him,” she said.
“His son is now running the same business in the same shop that he started.”
Midway Barber Shop on Rosemary Street has maintained a strong relationship with its customers, many of whom have remained with the shop since its early days, she said.
“(The induction) means a little bit of excitement and recognition for something that he did while he was alive,” she said.
“He always tried to serve the community the best he could.”
Stephen Edwards and Lovelia Edwards, a former beautician herself, raised three kids, all of whom went on to be barbers.
“I’m glad they recognize him,” said Stepney Edwards, the son of Stephen Edwards and current owner of Midway.
“I do think he was a serious entrepreneur, and he was a great father as well.”
Midway Barber Shop started when Stephen Edwards left the Army and used funds from the GI Bill to go to barber school, Stepney Edwards said.
He worked at another barbershop before getting some friends together to help construct the building that now houses Midway, he added.
“I always tell people if you haven’t been to the Midway, you missed a Chapel Hill experience,” he said. “It’s part of Chapel Hill, and it’s been here longer than over 90 percent of the businesses.”
The Midway is not only a place to get a haircut, but also a social hub for its patrons, he said.
“He was my life, basically, because I grew up with him and worked beside him every day,” he said. “Working with family can be hard, but he was one of my best friends.”
Joshua Edwards, a Chapel Hill resident and frequent patron, said he enjoys coming to the shop because of its atmosphere and barbers.
“I’ve been coming here ever since I was a little kid,” he said. “All the barbers are real kind and respectful.”
Midway has also attracted a lot of athletes from the University, many of whom have gone on to play professionally, Joshua Edwards said.
“(Stephen Edwards) was one of the first black barbershop owners in the area,” he said. “He was a great guy and respectful to everyone around.”