Jordan Hardware Company Records (Ottawa), 1852-1983
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Brief Description:

Records in the Jordan Hardware Company collection date from 1852 to 1981.

Centennial Records document the hardware company's 100th anniversary in 1940. They include letters of congratulation and information on a commemorative plaque. Also in this series is a written history of the company, a set of receipts and invoices that trace the name and ownership of the company, and articles written about Jordan Hardware.

Financial Records date from 1852 to 1981 and are the largest part of the collection. Included in this series are inventories for the years 1856-1865, 1899, 1926, 1930, 1936, 1941, 1948, and 1981. Three ledgers document the company's activities from 1913 to 1960. However, each ledger actually concentrates on just a few years. A bound, one volume ledger dates 1913-1918, though it does include a recapitulation of sales from 1898 to 1920. The ledger which dates 1923-1935 also has a sales summary dating 1898-1929, while some of its accounts date up to 1935, most of them covers the years 1923-1929. The third ledger dates 1929-1960. Its accounts vary in time span, some covering only 1957-1960 and others covering just the 1930-1949. This series also contains sheets from daily record books for the following years: 1929, 1931, 1939, 1941, 1946, 1950, 1960.

Supply Records include correspondence to distributors and a True-Value Hardware catalog. The majority of the records in this series are schedules of hardware from Sargent's Lock Company. Jordan Hardware would contract with Sargent's to provide the locks for construction projects.

The Addendum dates from 1923 to 1983 and contains tax information, employee payroll information, daily receipts, work records, accounts receivable, and inventory records.

Held at:
Northern Illinois University
Founders Memorial Library
Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, IL 60115
Phone: 815-753-1779
Email: rhcua [at]
Record Series Number: RHC/RC/166
Volume: 12.5 Linear Feet
Acquired: 03/15/1984. An addendum was added by Mr. Jordan in March 1995 with records to be added in the future.
Arrangement: The collection is organized into three series: Centennial Records; Financial Records; and Supply Records.  The Supply Records are arranged chronologically.
Access Restrictions: There are no restrictions on access to the collection.
Subject Index
Hardware Industry
Jordan Hardware Company
Ottawa (Ill.)
Retail trade
Languages of Materials
English [eng]
Rights/Use Restrictions: Property rights in the collection belong to the Regional History Center; literary rights are dedicated to the public.
Acquisition Notes: Robert Jordan  Robert Jordan donated the records for the Jordan Hardware Company in Ottawa, Illinois to the Northern Illinois Regional History Center on March 15, 1984.
Related Materials: <font face="Times New Roman">For additional information on the hardware business in Illinois, researchers should consult the Piper Business Collection (RC 78).</font>