Silcox Hardware

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Mr. J.H. Slater disposed of his hardware business to Mr. A.J. Silcox of St. Thomas. Mr. Silcox conducted a hardware business in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada before his business in St. Thomas.

The building in which the Silcox Hardware is located has seen many changes of occupants. Prior to the turn of the century, a General Store was operated by Haggermah and Jull. They were followed by a firm "The Northway Company." Mr. Joe Laing then took over and set up a hardware business. After Mr. Laing's death, the business was carried on by his son George Laing, and later the firm became known as Cruickshank and Laing.

The Welster Brothers, who operated the store for a time, sold to Mr. Slater in 1919 at the close of the First World War and from this Slater, with a cousin, Mr. Bill Gibson of this district.

Of the number of merchants who were in business in 1929 when Mr. Silcox took over the business, it is believed that only four are left - Mr. E.V. Bingham of the "Dominion Press", who has a partner Mr. Craven at present time; Mr. Harvey Stewart of the Drug Store; Mr. Ben Smith and son, formerly of Locke and Co. and Roszell and Graves. However the Mitton Jewellery store, operated by Fred Mitton was in 1926 operated by the present owner's father, Mr. E.L. Mitton.

Although there have been many changes of occupants, the building has changed very little. A warehouse has been added on the rear and otherwise the structure is as it has always been.

A warehouse across the street has been in use for some time. A picture of the store taken in 1926 shows a prominent display of hoes and forks outside the front of the store and now forks are not only little used, but are scarcely, if ever, sold.

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Transcribed from the records of Mrs. Geo. S. Brien, Rural Ridgetown Women's Institute.