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Articles & Local History > SMITH HARDWARE STORE

Tampico Tornado

Thursday, May 29, 1947


Smith’s Hardware, the oldest business house in Tampico, has been sold to James and Hubert Darby who will reopen the store as soon as they can redecorate and put in new lighting. They intend to handle a complete and modern line of general hardware and a full line of electrical appliances and will operate under the name of Darby Brothers.

James and Hubert are sons of Mr. And Mrs. Charles Darby Sr. And have lived here since they were boys. James, a veteran of WWI, has conducted a barber shop and Norge agency here for several years. He will quit barbering and devote full time to the new store. Hubert, a former mechanic, will continue as postmaster and be in the store during his spare time.

The new owners spent the day Monday in Chicago buying stock. They are busy rearranging the stock now in the store and ask that you watch for their opening date which will be announced in the Tornado.

Alfred Smith and his wife moved to Tampico in 1872 and Mr. Smith purchased the Fox hardware business, located on the present site in the wooden building now used as a warehouse. After some years Mr. Smith moved the wooden building to the lot north, where it now stands, and built the present brick store building.

Mr. Smith’s brother Fred moved to Tampico and worked as a carpenter for a time, after which he joined his brother in the store. This partnership was dissolved in 1912.

L.E. Smith, better known as Earle, only son of Mr. And Mrs. Alfred Smith, clerked in the store following his graduation from high school and business college and later became a partner in the firm, A. Smith & Son.

Alfred Smith was actively engaged in the business until his last illness. He passed away in April of 1941 at the age of 93.

After his father’s death, Earle continued to run the store until recetnly when ill health forced him to retire.

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