From the Library Archives: The Judith Hardware was built in 1900 and its warehouse in 1902. By Nancy Watts

The Judith Hardware Co. was built in 1900 at 307 W. Main. (It is now part of the True Value Hardware Store).  It was built of native sandstone.

“The articles of incorporation of the Judith Hardware Co. were filed with the county clerk last week…The company will do a general hardware business for a term of twenty years, with their principal office at Lewistown. The directors are: I.M. Hobensack, A.W. Stoddard, David Hilger, John Laux, E. H. Sherwood. The firm will succeed Hobensack and Stoddard.” (“Fergus County Argus,” June 13, 1900).

“With the large increase of capital provided by the reorganization, the company will be better prepared than ever to handle the enormous business which they have built up by persistent solicitation and fair dealing… …During the summer the company will build a handsome stone store, warehouses, etc.,..(“Fergus County Argus,” June 13, 1900).

“Work on the new warehouse began yesterday on the new site for the Judith Hardware Co. Building of stone, 50’x 90, two stories. Second floor to be used for repairs, shops, undertaking rooms…it will be a handsome building, contract not yet let out.” (Unknown, June 20, 1900).

“[Judith Hardware] Store will be enclosed tomorrow. Second floor will be used for offices. One will be occupied by County Attorney F. E. Smith who will retire from office January 1st and the other has been spoken by A. Barbour…Rear of the second floor to be used for a tin shop and a storeroom.” (Unknown, November 21, 1900).

“The Judith Hardware Co. has recently built with a firm confidence in the future of Lewistown and the development of the Judith Basin. The first of the year the company moved into its new building on Main Street, between Third and Fourth Avenues –a building constructed entirely of stone and iron, with a plate glass front of fifty feet on the ground floor. Part of the second floor is arranged for offices, and the remainder is occupied by the company with an elevator running to it…The shelving is admirably arranged, and the stock, from the elegant line of crockery and stoves to the finest lines of brass hardware, is displayed to advantage. Harness and undertaker’s goods are also carried. Private offices, behind a partition of glass, have been fitted up in the rear. The real estate and buildings represent an investment of $20,000. …Mr. Hobensack was born in Bucks County, PA in 1858. He came to Lewistown in 1887 and in 1889 put in a small hardware stock with Oliver Jutras.  In1892, Theodore Sloan bought Mr. Jutras’ interest, and in 1898 A.W. Stoddard bought in, taking Mr. Sloan’s interest.” (Fergus County Argus 1901 Pictorial Edition).

“The Judith Hardware Co. has built two new warehouses costing $700.” (“Fergus County Argus,” December 10, 1902).

The Judith Hardware Co. (center) 307 W. Main was built in 1900.
The building to the left of the Judith Hardware was the old Power Mercantile
building built in 1892 (now True Value Hardware).
The buildings to the right are the Warr-Lane Building and the Crowley Building.
This Judith Hardware warehouse was built on Janeaux St. behind the main building.
To the right of the warehouse is the Fergus Hotel on the corner of Janeaux and 3rd Ave.
The warehouse building existed until 1971.

Photos courtesy Lewistown Public Library

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