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Jordan Hardware Company Records (Ottawa)


Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Centennial Records

Financial Records

Supply Records

Addendum 1

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Jordan Hardware Company Records (Ottawa), 1852-1983 | Northern Illinois University

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Collection Overview

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

ID: RHC/RC/166

Extent: 12.5 Linear Feet

Arrangement: The collection is organized into three series: Centennial Records; Financial Records; and Supply Records.  The Supply Records are arranged chronologically.

Date Acquired: 03/15/1984. More info below under Accruals.

Subjects: Hardware Industry, Jordan Hardware Company, Ottawa (Ill.), Retail trade

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

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.

Collection Historical Note

In 1840, John Manley bought the L. Woodruff and Company tin shop thus founding the Manley and Company hardware store. The hardware store occupied the same wooden building which had housed the tin shop on the public square in Ottawa. In 1851, Manley contracted for the erection of a brick building to replace the wooden one. It was completed in 1857 and still stands today.

Richard Cook (R.C.) Jordan, a native of Hudson, New York and Kendall County, Illinois, worked for Manley as a clerk in 1861. At the outbreak of the Civil War, Jordan joined the army and did not return to Ottawa until the end of the war. Upon his return, Jordan became a cashier in the National City Bank of Ottawa, a position he held for eight years. In 1874, Jordan married Manley's daughter, Susan, and by 1879 was a partner in the hardware company.

The partnership of Manley and Jordan lasted until Manley's death in 1889. Jordan took over the business and acquired a new partner, C.H. Hamilton. Hamilton was Jordan's brother-in-law and remained in the hardware business until 1899, at which time he retired. Jordan then became sole proprietor of the store which came to be known as the Jordan Hardware Company.

Upon R.C.'s death in 1924, his son John Jordan took over the business. A commemorative plaque was dedicated to Manley and R.C. Jordan at the hardware company's Centennial celebration on November 14, 1940. The Jordan Hardware Company continued to function and expanded in 1957 when it bought Refior Hardware, an Ottawa competitor. John's son, Robert, eventually took over, making him the third generation of Jordan's to own and operate the business. It was sold in May of 1983 but still retains the Jordan name.

Subject/Index Terms

Hardware Industry
Jordan Hardware Company
Ottawa (Ill.)
Retail trade

Administrative Information

Repository: Northern Illinois University

Accruals: An addendum was added by Mr. Jordan in March 1995 with records to be added in the future.

Access Restrictions: There are no restrictions on access to the collection.

Use Restrictions: Property rights in the collection belong to the Regional History Center; literary rights are dedicated to the public.

Acquisition Source: Robert Jordan

Acquisition Method: Robert Jordan donated the records for the Jordan Hardware Company in Ottawa, Illinois to the Northern Illinois Regional History Center on March 15, 1984.

Separated Materials: Some material has been separated and added to the Center's reference collection in the reading room. The separated material consists of Ottawa City Directories, and Ottawa City Map and a LaSalle County plat book.

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>

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series I.: Centennial Records],
[Series II.: Financial Records],
[Series III.: Supply Records],
[Addendum 1],

Series II.: Financial Records
Box 1
Folder 10: Inventory, 1856-1865
Folder 11: Inventory, 1899
Folder 12-15: Inventory, 1926, Sections A-J
Folder 16-19: Inventory, 1930, Sections A-G
Folder 20-22: Inventory, 1936, Sections A-J
Box 2
Folder 1-4: Inventory, 1941, Sections A-J
Folder 5-8: Inventory, 1948, Sections A-O
Box 3
Folder 1-3: Inventory, 1981
Box 4
Folder 1: Yearly Sales Record of John Manley, 1852-1871
Folder 2: Sales Recapitulation, 1898-1930
Folder 3: Ledger, 1923-1935: Advertising and Auto Accounts
Folder 4: Ledger, 1923-1935: Accounts Payable
Folder 5: Ledger, 1923-1935: Accounts Received
Folder 6-10: Ledger, 1923-1935: Bank Account
Folder 11: Ledger, 1923-1935: Donation and Expense Accounts
Folder 12: Ledger, 1923-1935: Discount and Commission Accounts
Folder 13: Ledger, 1923-1935: Insurance and Interest Accounts
Folder 14-18: Ledger, 1923-1935: Jordan Family Accounts
Folder 19-20: Ledger, 1923-1935: Merchandise Account
Folder 21: Ledger, 1923-1935: Notes Payable and Notes Receivable Accounts
Folder 22: Ledger, 1923-1935: Profits and Losses and Postage Accounts
Folder 23: Ledger, 1923-1935: Rebate Account
Folder 24: Ledger, 1923-1935: Sales and Repairs Accounts
Folder 25: Ledger, 1923-1935: Store Account
Folder 26: Ledger, 1923-1935: Suspense Account
Folder 27: Ledger, 1923-1935: Tax Account
Folder 28: Ledger, 1923-1935: Transportation Account
Folder 29-30: Ledger, 1923-1935: Trial Balance
Folder 31: Ledger, 1923-1935: Utilities and Subscription and Dues Accounts
Folder 32: Ledger, 1923-1935: Wear and Tear Account
Folder 33-47: General Ledger, 1929-1960
Volume 1: Ledger (1 volume), 1913-1918
Access Restriction: (located in unnumbered oversize box)
Box 5
Folder 1-29: Daily Record, 1929, 1931, 1939, 1941, 1946, 1950, 1960
Box 6
Folder 1: Daily Record, 1960
Folder 2: Trial Balance and Expense Control, 1929-1931
Folder 3-11: Invoice and Margin Register, 1930-1938
Folder 12: Customer Accounts, 1933-1934
Box 7
Volume 1: Customer Account Monthly Transaction Listing (1 volume), January 1978-July 1978
Box 8
Volume 2: Customer Account Monthly Transaction Listing (1 volume), July 1978-January 1979
Box 9
Folder 1: Financial Papers, 1951, 1959

Browse by Series:

[Series I.: Centennial Records],
[Series II.: Financial Records],
[Series III.: Supply Records],
[Addendum 1],

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