Source: Aurora (1948) Ad:
107-109 N. Walnut St. Phone 66
Source: NMHS Newsletter, August 1995
from Main Street NEWS JOURNAL April 13, 1967
Ivan Little started in the hardware business in North Manchester in 1924 in the
location of the Ace Hardware presently (in 1967) owned and operated by his
daughter, Mary Louise Little at 107 N. Walnut Street.
Mr. Little began a partnership with Gus Frame which operated in the present
location under the name of Frame and Little Hardware. In 1936, Little moved to a
new location to form the Ace Hardware. The business moved back into the Ulrey
Building in 1945 when he bought out the Frame family. This purchase ended one of
the oldest businesses in North Manchester and gave permanent location to another
of the town's oldest family owned businesses. Ivan Little died in 1953 giving
the operation and ownership to his wife and daughter, Mary Louise Little. In
July, 1957, Miss Little became sole owner after buying her mother's interest.
....Mary Louise Little has been in and out of the store all of her life when her
father was in business. She confessed that she wanted to be a nurse, but after
two weeks away at school, returned to North Manchester and the hardware
Miss Little is very active in civic affairs and was elected North Manchester's
Outstanding Citizen by the Jaycees in 196l. She is the only woman to receive
this honor. For her work in the Business and Professional Women's Club, she was
given the "Career Woman" award as a past president of the organization.
Her list of offices and organizations are extensive. She is: chairman of the
Community Improvement Committee; vice-president of the Fine Arts Club; director
of the North Manchester Foundation; president of the Associate Tri Kappa; one of
the directors of the Wabash County United Fund; past grandmatron of the Indiana
Chapter Order of the Eastern Star; director of the Masonic Home board; and
assistant organist of the United Church of Christ.
Ace Hardware employs six with service dating back to 1936. Bertha Fulton has
been with the business for 31 years, starting when Miss Little's father began in
business. Dick Strain has been with the store since 1947, while Robert Higgins
started a few years later in 1953. Roxy Little has worked with waiting on
customers since her beginning in 1955. The newest members of the Ace
organization in North Manchester are Virgil Sites and Doris Robinson who started
in 1962 and 1964 respectively.
Source: News-Journal, August 16, 1973, Centennial Section
Ivan Little Ace Hardware has become a landmark in the
business district of North Manchester over the years.
The firm traces its origin back to the summer of 1936 when Ivan Little opened
his Ace Hardware Store.
Today's Ace hardware operates under the direction of Mary Louise Little,
daughter of the business founder.
Ace hardware moved to its present Walnut Street location in the fall of 1945.
While the store has undergone several remodeling projects, great care has been
taken to preserve the original appearance of the building.
The building had been the home of Frame's Hardware prior to the Little
purchase. Frame Hardware opened for business in North Manchester in 1876 and was
one of the oldest business firms in town prior to the 1945 sale.
Ivan Little bought into the Frame Hardware business in 1924 and the business
was known as Frame and Little Hardware until 1936 when Ivan Little began his
association with Ace Hardware.
Over the years Ivan Little Ace Hardware has developed the reputation for
quality merchandise and has become a leader in many community minded projects
undertaken in North Manchester.
Ivan Little, 1940, with
daughter Mary Louis Little, Little's Ace Hardware Store
Christmas 1934. Ivan and Hester Little, Mary
Louis Little with her dog Waggle.