24034 (509-11) W. Lockport Street – Jones’ Hardware (1893)
This structure has a unified facade but was built as separate buildings after the 1891 fire. It is now united on the interior. It is a one-story building whose storefronts were recently rebuilt with wood in a period appropriate style using the original cast iron columns and steel beam with new canvas awnings completed in 2009. The upper façade is of Chicago common brick and brick corbels are under a rebuilt metal cornice. Historically the separate storefronts were used as grocery and hardware stores. The building still has the original hand-powered platform freight elevator in the rear of the store that still runs from the basement to the first floor.
James R. Jones owned and operated the hardware business with his business partner, Richard Capps, from 1890 until 1899 when Capps retired. Jones ran the business alone until 1919 when he retired and turned the reins over to his son, Richard Ira Jones, who was a WWI veteran.
Ira Jones was a decorated WWI Veteran who was born in 1891 and lived his entire life in Plainfield. He served in Company A of the Army’s 313th Engineers as part of the 88th Division. After his military service, Ira returned home and wed Ms. Margaret Boardman in October 1919. He and Margaret owned and managed Jones Hardware until Margaret died in 1971. He and his nephew Richard “Dick” Selfridge then ran the business for a few more years eventually becoming a Tru Value Hardware store. Richard Selfridge closed Jones’ Hardware in 1977.
Ira Jones remains the longest serving Plainfield School District Board member, he held office from 1936-1972. Mr. Jones passed away in 1983 and in 2004, the Plainfield School District dedicated the Richard Ira Jones Middle School, in honor of his years of dedicated service to the community and school district.