Widmayer Hardware


By dhowell - Posted on 03 January 2008

Herbert Widmayer has followed in the footsteps of his father and operates the Widmayer Hardware store on West Main. His father, the late Fred Widmayer, was born in Adrian and came to Manchester with his parents, the George Widmayers after the Civil War. They lived on the present William Grossman farm south of town first. Then the family moved to the Wm. Weinhardt farm in Sharon before coming to the village to live.

Fred Widmayer started his career in the hardware business in 1882. He worked for Charles Norton in the building now occupied by the Gamble Store. That same year the business was sold to J. H. Kingsley who moved the hardware store across the street to the brand new brick building known as the Rehfuss & Kapp block which they had just completed. Widmayer went into business for himself in 1892 in that same location and stayed until 1930. This building is owned by D. E. Limpert and is located next to the present Widmayer Hardware.

Then the Widmayer Hardware moved across the street to the building now occupied by Widmayer Furniture.

Widmayers bought the old Bessac store, razed it, and put up a new building on the location of their present store. March 12, 1941 Fred Widmayer and two of his sons, Herbert and Rolland, held grand opening in their new hardware store. The occasion marked Fred's 59th year in business and was also the occasion of his 81st birthday. Fred's wife, the former Emma B. Fausel had died December 10, 1939. Mr. Widmayer passed away in 1950. Herbert and his wife, Isabel, operate the hardware store and across the street the widow of Rolland Widmayer has the furniture store. Herbert recalls that his uncle Bill Widmayer, who worked in the store, used to say, "We do everything—from the top of the chimney to the bottom of the well."