AV Winans came to Spartansburg in about 1865 and established a butcher shop with his brother, SA Winans. Two years later he and his father-in-law purchased hardware stores owned by Alsdorfs and by CM Hopkins. AV Winans combined the 2 hardware stores into a building near the railroad track (northeast side of Main Street). This building was destroyed in the 1898 fire which burned the businesses on the NE side of Main from the tracks to Water Street. Shortly after the fire, he constructed a brick building (fire-resistant materials were required by city ordinance) on that site and continued with his business.
This article from a 1908 edition of the Spartansburg Sentinel relates this information and provides a picture of the building as it appeared until the 1971. The article also lists some of the items that were available for purchase from Winans’ Hardware.
In about 1904, Leon Morris and his wife, Ella moved to Spartansburg from Brown Hill. Leon opened a grocery store at the Northwest end of the Main Street business district. In 1913, he purchased the Winans’ Hardware and building. He moved his grocery store and combined it with the hardware in that building.
In 1924, he sold the grocery business to “Don” Kinney, but continued to own and manage the hardware business until his death in 1937 following which his wife, Ella and daughter, Ferne carried on.
Morris was very actively involved in town happenings. He served as a Director and Vice President of the Grange National Bank for several years. He was also a town councilman.
Ella Morris was also an active member of the community. Many reports of hosting various clubs, including the Ivy Club and the Tuesday Evening Club are found in weekly news.
Glenn Morris, their son worked at the hardware during his early years before he moved with his family to the country near town.
Daughter, Ferne, married George Beal in August of 1943. George went to work with Ella and Ferne at the hardware to learn the business. Later that year, the Titusville Herald reported the sale of Morris Hardware to George and Ferne.
Ferne was involved in the community as was her mother. She was in several clubs and served as an officer in Rebekahs.
They maintained the name of the hardware and George managed the store until 1966 when he retired just a few months before his unexpected death.
Upon George Beal’s retirement, the Bates Hardware became the source for needed items in the same location.
In 1968, the hardware was purchased by Herbert Most and his wife Marlott who had come to the US from Germany in 1951. They owned the store until 1989. The store was in the same location built by Leon Morris in 1899. As with all the previous owners, the hardware was an important part of the community. Collections for the March of Dimes, Red Cross and local fund-raising were made at the store. Displays for Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and school teams were often found in the windows.
In 1971, yet another fire destroyed a business on the northeast corner of Main Street. There was suspicion of arson because there had been a series of unexplained fires in the area before the hardware fire.
Following the fire, Most moved the store to the other end of Main Street-in the same location, but not the same building, where Leon Morris had started with his grocery store
Most wasn’t without excitement at the new location:
He remained at that location until he sold the store to the current owners, Kim and John Bova in 1989.
Since the purchase of the hardware, the store has expanded and now encompasses 3 historic buildings on the northwest end of Main Street. The business remains a vital part of Spartansburg as it serves not only the folks in the borough, but also from the surrounding area. Many unique items are to be found in the store as they strive to serve the local Amish community as well.