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Piper Business Collection (Byron)

Overview

Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Box 1

Box 1A

Day Book (1 volume)

Box 2

Box 3

Box 4

Box 5

Box 6

Box 7

Box 8

Box 9

Daily/Monthly Account Ledger-Oregon Store (1 volume)

Box 10

Box 11



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Piper Business Collection (Byron), 1882-1972 | Northern Illinois University

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Collection Overview

Title: Piper Business Collection (Byron), 1882-1972

ID: RHC/RC/078

Extent: 10.0 Linear Feet

Arrangement: The records are arranged chronologically by the type of document.

Date Acquired: 05/15/1980

Subjects: American Standard, Inc., Blacksmithing, Byron (Ill.), Hardware Industry, Kohler Company, Machine-tool industry, Piper Hardware Company, Plumbing Industry, Retail trade

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

These records document the financial history of the Piper family hardware business from 1882 to 1972.  The records are arranged chronologically by the type of document.  There are business accounts, day and cash book registers for the years 1891-1960 (1916-1935 are missing), account ledgers and check registers for 1919-1963, and payroll and weekly time books for 1937 to 1970.  The Oregon store is noticeably documented only for the years 1950-1952 in the form of a check register, monthly account ledger, and weekly time books, but may be mentioned in some of the Byron store ledgers.  Although only a small amount of correspondence exists to complement all the financial documentation, a number of hardware catalogs (1925-1971) have been included in the collection as supplementary material.

Additional account books dealing with the threshing and shelling business are also housed in the collection. Business files containing correspondence, building plans, contracts and estimates detail various plumbing and heating jobs handled by Piper Hardware form 1896 to 1923, though the bulk of the files date 1907-1923.

Researchers should note that the Center’s holdings include the Jordan Hardware Company Records (RC 166) located in Ottawa, Illinois.

Collection Historical Note

The Piper’s Tru-Value Hardware store began in 1891 as a small blacksmith shop operated by S. F. Piper on his farm located west of Byron, Illinois.  Mr. Piper’s shop offered a number of services including wood sawing, shelling corn, moving buildings, dehorning cattle and threshing.  By 1898 Piper’s work was in such demand that he moved the business into Byron and formed a partnership with P. E. Millis.  Millis and Piper then were able to add well drilling and pump and windmill work to the other services which had been available at the blacksmith shop.

In 1919 the Millis-Piper business arrangement underwent a small change when Piper’s son, Leo, returned from the service to form a partnership with his father.  S. F. Piper and Son Hardware was formed to take over the plumbing, heating, and repairing aspect of the former partnership while Mr. Millis went on to build his own well drilling business.  By 1923 S. F. Piper had retired from active duty in the firm, but Leo continued to expand and develop the business for the next 40 years.

Leo Piper’s expansion took the form of three business ventures.  In 1929 he purchased the D. A. Bellis plumbing and heating firm in Oregon which was operated in connection with the Byron store until 1953.  Piper also acquired the Frank Spoor Hardware store in Byron in 1935 under the supervision of Merrit Harmon.  Finally, Leo’s son-in-law, Robert Boger took interest in and joined the firm in 1947.  By 1976 Boger had enough experience and perserverance to purchase the entire business from the Piper family.  Today, Mr. Boger and Piper’s Tru-Value Hardware continue to provide quality tools and home-care products to the Byron community.

Subject/Index Terms

American Standard, Inc.
Blacksmithing
Byron (Ill.)
Hardware Industry
Kohler Company
Machine-tool industry
Piper Hardware Company
Plumbing Industry
Retail trade

Administrative Information

Repository: Northern Illinois University

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

Use Restrictions: Property rights to the records belong to the Regional History Center.  Literary rights are dedicated to the public.

Acquisition Source: Robert A. Boger

Acquisition Method: Robert A. Boger donated the Piper Business Collection to the Regional History Center on May 15, 1980.

Related Materials: Researchers should note that the Center’s holdings include the Jordan Hardware Company Records (RC 166) located in Ottawa, Illinois.


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Box:

[Box 1],
[Box 1A],
[Volume 1: Day Book (1 volume), 1904],
[Box 2],
[Box 3],
[Box 4],
[Box 5],
[Box 6],
[Box 7],
[Box 8],
[Box 9],
[Volume 2: Daily/Monthly Account Ledger-Oregon Store (1 volume), 1951-1952],
[Box 10],
[Box 11],
[All]

Box 2
Folder 1: Day Book, 1910
Folder 2: Cash Book, 1910
Folder 3: Business Account Ledger, 1910
Folder 4: Day Book, 1911
Folder 5: Cash Book, 1911
Folder 6-7: Business Account Ledgers, 1911-1912
Folder 8: Monthly Account Ledgers, 1908-1912
Folder 9-10: Business Account Ledgers, 1913-1914

Browse by Box:

[Box 1],
[Box 1A],
[Volume 1: Day Book (1 volume), 1904],
[Box 2],
[Box 3],
[Box 4],
[Box 5],
[Box 6],
[Box 7],
[Box 8],
[Box 9],
[Volume 2: Daily/Monthly Account Ledger-Oregon Store (1 volume), 1951-1952],
[Box 10],
[Box 11],
[All]


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