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Articles & Local History > 1947 - Darby Bros. Purchase Smith Hardware

Sterling Gazette, Sterling, IL

Monday, June 2, 1947, p 7;8, Roll # 238 (Sterling Public Library)


Smith’s hardware store, the oldest business house in Tampico, has been sold to James and Hubert Darby. The store is closed for redecoration, rearrangement and installation of new lighting fixtures.

The opening will be in the near future. The store, to be known as Darby Brothers, will handle complete lines of modern electrical appliances and hardware.

James and Hubert, sons of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Darby, Sr., have lived here since boyhood. James a veteran of World War I, has conducted a barber shop for a number of years. He will sell this shop in order to devote full time to the new store. He has handled the Norge supplies and appliances since 1936. James, active in veteran’s affairs since 1919 has been a member of the American Legion and VFW.

Hubert, a mechanic for 16 years before serving as postmaster, will continue in the latter post. He will work in the store during his spare time. One of the first Tampico firemen. He helped unload the first fire truck purchased.

Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Smith moved to Tampico in 1872 when Mr. Smith purchased the  hardware business. It was located on the present site. In the wooden building now used as a warehouse. After several years Mr. Smith moved the wooden building to north, where it now stands, and erected the present brick store building.

Mr. Smith’s brother, Fred, moved to Tampico and worked as a carpenter for a time later joining his brother in the business. This partnership was dissolved in 1912.

Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Smith’s only son, Earle, clerked in the store following his graduation from high school and business collage and later became a partner in the firm, A. Smith and Son. Alfred Smith, active in the business until his illness, passed away in April,, 1941, at the age of 93. After his father’s death, Earle continued the business until recently, when his health failed and he was forced to retire.

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