In the early days of Marceline, when the town was booming and the sound of building construction was constant, local hardware stores were a crucial part of the community. Not only for businesses and town residents, but also for the farmers just outside of town. And because of the railroad, the shelves of a hardware store could remain stocked with goods during the busiest of times.
Established in nineteen-oh-five, the Central Hardware Company was the first hardware store located in this building. It was said to be one of the most finely equipped and heavily stocked hardware stores in Marceline. It carried builders hardware tools, cutlery, stoves, ranges, small implements, and everything else that made for a complete hardware store at the time, including sporting goods. It was also said that Central Hardware purchased stocks in large quantities, and while monitoring market trends, could offer discounts to their customers which could not be equaled anywhere.
Almost fifteen years later, Mister P-J Duke became the sole owner of the Central Hardware store when he bought the interests of his partners in nineteen-twenty. It became Duke’s Hardware, and since that time, this building has continued to house a hardware store.