Young Hardware, An Enduring Union City Business
The story of Young Hardware, a family business that began in Union City on August 27, 1891, really begins with Rulaf Fuller, the father‑in‑law of A.F. Young.
Rulaf Fuller was born September 26, 1842 at Jordan, New York and came to Union City in 1865. He brought with him his wife Aduretta Main Fuller, also of Jordan, and an ambitious spirit. He had charge of the stock room at the Shreve Chair Factory for many years, then something happened to him that would change the course of his life and eventually affect the lives of his friends and neighbors in Union City.
The Union City Times of January 15, 1880 reported that Rulaf, who then resided about two miles south of town was quite seriously injured that morning. At press time the editors did not have any details about the accident. It wasn't until later in the week that the story of what happened to Rulaf Fuller emerged. He had been riding on the Pennsylvania & Erie Railroad between Union City and Erie on his way home. The car in which he was riding was thrown from the track near Jackson's station and his injuries were of such a nature that he never again stood on his feet. Medical opinion ‑ including that of Dr. A.C. Sherwood of Union City, his doctor ‑ agreed that he probably would never sit or walk again. (Union City Times, Thursday, April 13, 1882.
One of the major changes his accident produced in Rulaf Fuller's life included moving from his home two miles south of Union City, where he still resided in January of 1880 when the accident happened. It is unclear whether the accident precipitated the move of whether he and Aduretta planned to move their family into town anyway. By May of 1880, Rulaf had made enough improvements on his lot on West High Street to rate a mention in the Union City Times. (Union City Times, Wednesday, May 5, 1880). By this time, the Fuller's had four children: Will, born in 1866; Belle, born in 1868; Clara born in 1870; and Comer born in 1873.
According to the doctors, Rulaf would have to come up with some other way to make a living, because he could no longer go to his office at the chair company every day or do heavy lifting. In fact, his attending physician, Dr. A.C.Sherwood, took drastic action to try to improve Rulaf's condition. In late November of 1881, Dr. Sherwood, with the help of his colleague Dr. Greenlee of Meadville, put what was known as a Plaster of Paris jacket on Rulaf. Since his injury on the railroad in January of 1880, Rulaf had never been able to even sit up in bed. Then the two doctors put the Plaster of Paris jacket on him and he could sit up for ten minutes at a time. The jacket held his back so secure that it gave him relief and assisted him in sitting up. It also enabled him to spend most of his days in a wheelchair instead of flat on his back. (Union City Times, Thursday, December 1, 1881).
While he was beginning the long slow process of recovery from his accident, Rulaf mapped out a plan of action. After attempting to settle with the railroad out of court several times, Rulaf finally brought proceedings against the company. He sued the Pennsylvania Railroad for $25,000 which didn't seem to be a large amount of money to compensate him for what he had lost. Only 38 years old when the accident happened, Rulaf was still a young man and had been most industrious and hard working. The suit was finally tried in Erie the second week in April, 1882. J.W. Sproul, Esq., assisted by S.A. Davenport represented Rulaf Fuller. J. Ross Thompson and Frank Grant represented the Pennsylvania Railroad.
According to his lawyer, J.W. Sproul, Rulaf had been returning to his home from New York on January 15, 1880. At the Erie depot he purchased a ticket for Union, and took his seat as a regular passenger on what was called the local freight train. Hitched to the train were some flat cars. At a point traced on maps produced in court, the train had to run onto a siding to let the regular train pass. The flag man threw the switch too soon and the car in which Rulaf Fuller was riding was thrown off the track. Rulaf was flung violently on his back, causing spinal injuries which prevented him from rising to his feet from that moment on. Before the accident, Rulaf had earned $1,200 a year and had a reasonable expectation of 30 more years of life and work ahead of him.
The medical testimony said that Rulaf’s injuries were permanent and he would never be any better. Other testimony showed that he had indeed been an industrious hard workingman up to the time of the accident. It took the jury about twenty minutes to come to a verdict and award him the full $25,000. The railroad appealed, asking for a new trial and the court ruled that unless Rulaf would remit $8,000 of the sum that the jury awarded to him, a new trial would be granted. He did so, leaving the railroad to pay $17,000 instead of $25,000. No new trial was granted. (The Union City Times, Thursday, April 15, 1882).
The Pennsylvania Railroad took the case to the Supreme Court on a writ of error but the Supreme Court upheld the verdict of the lower court. Rulaf Fuller received his $17,000. The Union City Times commented that "under the circumstances the amount is none too large and his friends who are legion, all are glad to know that he finally got the matter settled. We understand that this is the largest judgment ever awarded in the state. (The Union City Times, Thursday, January 4, 1883).
Now Rulaf and his family could try to resume their lives despite all of the changes his accident brought. In April he built an addition to the family home on West High Street which improved its looks and made it more convenient for him to use his wheel chair. (Union City Times, Thursday, April 19, 1883).
According to surviving diaries that Rulaf kept for the years 1883 and 1884, life went on pretty much as usual for the Fuller family. He arranged for music lessons for all of his children and bought a piano. His oldest daughter Belle, became ill in October of 1883 and Rulaf and Aduretta worried that she might not survive. On Monday, October 29, 1883,Rulaf's anxiety about Belle is revealed in his terse diary entry. "The doctor was in three times today. Belle is very bad. They had to cut her hair off today. We got a woman to come to help take care of Belle." (Diary of Rulaf Fuller).
Belle still had not improved by November 6, 1883. That day,Dr. Sherwood, Dr. Bonsteel from Corry, and Dr. Abby were in most of the day. (Diary of Rulaf Fuller, Tuesday, November 6,1883). But by her birthday on Tuesday, November 20, Belle was getting better. Rulaf reported that "Belle is gaining. Belle is fifteen years old today. We gave her a pair of bracelets and a plastic pocket book." (Diary of Rulaf Fuller, Tuesday, November 20, 1883).
Rulaf improved in health over the next year to the point that the Union City Times remarked in October 1884 that everyone was pleased "to see our old friend Rulaf Fuller able to get downtown, even if he has to do so in his invalid chair." (Union City Times, Thursday, October 9, 1884).
Rulaf also took another big step in late October, 1884.He bought the store building and stock of groceries of M.E. Mendonsa. The store was located on the corner of Main and Market Streets (now South Street). Rulaf gave his son, Will, full charge of the business with expectations of success because Will already had experience in the grocery business.(Union City Times, Thursday, October 30, 1884).
Rulaf and Will did make the store a success and by August 1885, Dr.C.G. Hollister had even located his officers over Fuller's Grocery Store to the rear of those occupied by Dr. W.P.Biles. (Union City Times, Thursday, August 27, 1885).
A great deal of R.F. Fuller & Son's success stemmed from effective advertising in the local paper, the Union City Times, and word of mouth from satisfied customers. They also practiced some innovative merchandising techniques. In July 1889, they featured Easley's Lemon Juice Extractor in their newspaper advertisements. They also placed the extractor on their counters in the store. It sold for 15 cents, and according to them had no equal in cleanliness, convenience and cheapness. They said that "no family who ever uses a lemon can afford to be without one."
In late 1890, R. Fuller & Son's advertisements offered a variety of items for sale. The Union City or country customer could buy one pint or one or two-quart glass fruit jars. If the customer was canning, Fuller & Son offered pure cider vinegar, spices of all kinds and mixed spices. Or customers could buy smoked meats and lard, one half and one bushel baskets, four, meal and graham, choice teas and coffees, and creamery butter. (Union City Times, September 4, 1890).
Perhaps foreshadowing things to come, the R. Fuller &Son advertisement of October 2, 1890 offers one of the best oil cans made. Rulaf said that the customer could fill a lamp full of oil but can not run it over by using their oil can. He advised his customers "to see the can before you buy."(Union City Times, October 2, 1890).
In November 1890, Rulaf went back to strictly groceries, offering new buckwheat flour, new raisins, new figs and new un‑colored Japan tea to his customers. He also featured sweet potatoes by the barrel or pound, and Fuller's Fine Cut tobacco by the pound. (Union City Times, Thursday November 20, 1890). By February 1891, the doctors had moved out of the rooms over the store and R. Fuller & Son had new tenants. The rooms had been remodeled and the Union Mutual Benefit Society had moved in to its new general offices. The secretary of the company could be seen any time.
By August 1891 Will Fuller had decided he wanted a change because he formed a partnership with his brother-in-law W.T. Everson, who had married his sister, Belle. They purchased the stock of hardware of P. Conway and planned to run the store. They planned to increase the stock at once and add to it as the trade warranted. In addition to keeping a general line of hardware, tin ware, etc., they decided to put in a full stock of plumbers supplies and planned to stock glass doors, windows, blinds, door and window trimmings and such as well as general stock. The jobbing and tin department would be in charge of P. Conway who had superior skill as a first class workman. The Union City Times noted that the two were "both young native businessmen and will no doubt succeed." (U.C. Times, August 27, 1891).
Fuller & Everson advertised in the Union City Times as Fuller & Everson, the Brooklyn Hardware Dealers, Main Street, Union City.
In the meantime in August 1892, Reverend E.P. Clark of the Presbyterian Church in Union City married Rulaf's youngest daughter, Clara, and Arthur Fred Young. This uniting of two families would eventually have a profound impact on the hardware scene in Union City. Eventually the couple would have four children: Rulaf F; Belle; Arthur F. Jr. and Marjorie Rose.
Arthur F. Young had to be enterprising and his early youth, because after his father's death he had to help his widowed mother raise his younger brothers and sisters. When in his early teens he went to work as a printer's devil at the Union City Times and became one of the best printers in the business. He continued to work with the McLean Brothers in the printing business for many years until he took over Fuller & Everson's Hardware Store in August 1903. Later, Arthur became a partner when the Times and Enterprise were consolidated and continued to work there until William P. Rose of Cambridge Springs and Harry L. Merritt of Waterford bought it out in the late 1920s.
During the administration of President Grover Cleveland, A.F. Young was appointed postmaster of Union City, succeeding J.C. McLean. He officially assumed his duties as postmaster on Saturday morning, August 1, 1896 and served his constituents faithfully and well. In 1903 when he took over the hardware store, he began to build it into a thriving, important business in Union City and surrounding area.
But for the next five years, Will Fuller & Will Everson continued to operate the hardware store, while Rulaf ran his grocery store across the street. In February 1896 Fuller &Everson and Rulaf Fuller both announced in the Union City Times that they were adopting a strictly cash system in their hardware and grocery stores. Rulaf phrased his front page advertisement this way: "Strictly Cash Grocery Store. Call at my store and I will convince you that Fuller's Cash Store is the place to buy Groceries. R. Fuller." (Union City Times, Thursday February 27, 1896.)
Rulaf invited all of the ladies to a cookery exhibit at his grocery store during the first week of February in a front page advertisement in January 1896. In April 1896 Rulaf said in his advertisement that he was entirely satisfied with his new departure, that of a strictly cash ready pay store. He said that he could sell his goods lower and the people were seeing that they could save money by trading with him. Fuller & Everson were satisfied with their no credit policy as well. They added bicycles, plows, refrigerators, and land rollers and plows to their stock of goods to sell and expanded their business into roofing contracting. In August 1896 they made a successful bid on a contract for putting a felt roof on the new addition of the Union City Chair works.(Union City Times, April 2, 23, 27, 1896).
They also furnished steel girders for the Sproul and Morrow Block which were put into place in July 1896. Summer 1896 was the time that Rulaf decided to have a large veranda built in front of his residence on West High Street and in September he put down the finest flag stone walk in front of his house "to be seen in the city."According to the Union City Times, "it is a five foot walk and adds much to the costs of his property." (U.C. Times, Thursday, September 2, 1896).
Summer of 1898 marked some significant changes in the lives of Rulaf Fuller and his youngest son, Comer. Reverend A.J. Herries of the Presbyterian Church married Comer and Miss Mary Bole on June 9, 1898. Not quite a month later, Rulaf sold his grocery business to Comer. For his next business venture, he opened an insurance agency. Other interesting events happened in Rulaf's life over the next tree years. In July 1899 he was the first man to drive down Main Street over the new pavement and bragged about the fact. In March 1900 he had new telephones installed in his home and office. His office number was 47 and his home number 49B. Rulaf's wife Alduretta died in May 1901. Rulaf could well agree with her obituary that "to her husband shew as ever a devoted, loving companion and to her children an indulgent mother, whose greatest aim was to make them happy and contented." (U.C. Times, Thursday, May 23, 1901).
Another big change happened for Rulaf in July 1901 when he sold his insurance agency to John F. Dillon. John Dillon took possession of the agency on July 11, 1901 and was well and favorably known in the community. Rulaf sold the agency to Dillon because of his failing health. He operated the agency for about a year and because of his close attention to business and fair treatment of customers, he nearly doubled the agency business. (U.C. Times, Thursday July 11, 1901).
The old newspaper advertisements for Young Hardware seem to indicate that about 1902, Will Everson ran the store by himself for about a year until A.F. Young took over in July1903. Advertisements for July 1902 talk about Everson's Illustrated Hardware Bulletin for June which had just been issued and was being distributed. "It is one of the best numbers yet sent out by Mr. Everson," the Times said. The advertisements are also in the name of W.E. Everson's Double Store by the Spring. A paragraph in the Union City Times of Tuesday, February 10, 1903, talks about the miniature sugar camp showing the iron kettle as well as the latest device in sugar-making utensils is an attractive feature in the window display at W.E. Everson's hardware store at the present time.
The first time there is an advertisement in A.F. Young's name only for the hardware store is in late July 1903. The advertisement for July 21, 1903 called attention to the special sale of bicycles to be continued during this week by Mr. A.F. Young at Everson's old stand. By October, A.F. Young had begun to run full page advertisements for his store, offering such varied items as cookware, stoves, and shotguns, as well as bicycles. In October 1904, he also hired a clerk, Fred Shaw, to help him in his hardware store.
Arthur himself was an avid cyclist and enjoyed taking long distance rides. He also did contracting work and even built items in his own shop. His advertisement of February 2, 1905 offered a sap evaporator for sale. He calls it A.F. Young's Portable Evaporator and says that his evaporator requires less fuel, is more durable, and is the cheapest on the market. "These evaporators are built in my shop and fully warranted," he assured his customers. "None but the very best material is used in their construction. Call at my store and see samples and get my prices. Don't delay. This is the time to get your rig in working order."
Arthur Young also had a knack for arranging window displays in his store. The Union City Times noted one of his displays in its July 4, 1905 edition. It said that the window display of cutlery, etc., at A.F. Young's Hardware store attracts much attention of people passing along the street."The arrangement is complete and very tasty."
Besides establishing and skillfully taking care of business, both Rulaf Fuller and A.F. Young made contributions to the community and civic life of Union City. In June 1905A.F. Young was elected president of the New Board of Education and in August was instrumental in organizing a new lodge in Union City. According to the Union City Times, at a well attended meeting of Odd Fellows at Odd Fellows Hall Arthur Young and others decided to organize a Canton of Patriarchs Militant. Arthur was elected captain and W.E. Everson, Rulaf Fuller's other son‑in‑law, was elected accountant. The required number to procure a charter was obtained and the proper state officers came about the sixth of September to muster in the canton and get it in readiness to work. The men voted to hold another meeting in a week, and invited all who wished to become charter members to be present.
According to close friends, A.F. Young was naturally of "a retiring disposition," but he took an active part in many social and fraternal organizations. He was a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Eureka Lodge NO. 366, Erie Consistory of Scottish Rite Masons, Zem Zem Temple Order of the Mystic Shrine and a Past President of the Golden Rule Club of Union City. He was an active organizer of the Coleman Hose Company and served as their captain and manager. He helped them become esteemed fire fighters and sought after marchers in parades and athletic events. A member of the Presbyterian Church, he served as a session member and ruling elder.
Arthur F. Young continued to shape and add to the hardware store he had taken over from W.E. Everson. In August 1906 he hired Frank Turner to help him out in the store. Arthur continued to do contract work and the Union City Times noted that in October 1906 he was awarded the contract for installing the heating apparatus in the hotel at Wattsburg which was being entirely overhauled and repaired by Erie parties. In November 1906 he was awarded the contract for putting on the roof of the new furniture factory that was being built by L.S. Clough on the site of the old Keystone Chair company in Union City. Arthur began work at once and according to the Times, "this is the largest roofing contract ever given to a Union City firm and Mr.Young is to be congratulated on landing the job."
December proved to be another busy month for A.F. Young. He had four men at work in Wattsburg installing a new steam heating plant in the hotel and also doing the plumbing in the house. He estimated that it would take about two weeks time to complete the job. The hotel had recently been remodeled throughout and when the heating apparatus and plumbing is done, it will be one of the most up to date hotels in Erie County.
Young Hardware celebrated the New Year of 1907 with another new contract. This time A.F. Young secured the contract for putting in a steam heating plant in the Sproul &Morrow block on Main Street in Union City. By February 25,1907, the Sproul & Morrow block was equipped with a new steam heating plant with radiators in every room in the building.The Times said that "the new plant was put in by A.F. Young,the hardware dealer, and that it works to the complete satisfaction of the owners is another proof that when Mr.Young secures a contract he always gives the best ofsatisfaction in its fulfillment."
In 1908 A.F. Young continued to develop his merchandising talents. In April he announced a Saturday morning special sale of enameled granite ware in the Times.He thought that he had enough stock on hand to supply the community, but before twelve o'clock the last piece was sold and many customers late in arriving had to be turned away. He continued to do contracting and installation work. The weekof October 19, 1908, he installed a new Halsey furnace in theUnited Brethren Church, having secured a contract from thetrustees of that denomination.
A window display that Arthur created made Union CityTimes mention at Christmas 1909. The paper called it "one of the prettiest and most artistic window displays of Christmas goods in the city, and said that hundreds of people stop infront of the window of A.F. Young's Hardware store to inspect it every day." His window display of March 17, 1910 created another sensation. Arthur placed on exhibition in his show window on St. Patrick's Day of 1910 a pair of six month old alligators sent him by W.E. Everson from Palm Beach, Florida.They attracted the attention of all those passing by.
In the meantime Arthur and Clara Young's family was growing up, enough for the Union City Times to begin mentioning their activities. On July 8, 1909, the Union City Times noted that William King, Rulaf Young and Allison Clough were camping and fishing at Lake Pleasant for the week and were enjoying themselves thoroughly. By August 1911, Rulaf was again mentioned in the paper as being a recent graduate of the Eastman Business College. He accepted a position and entered upon his duties on August 21, 1911, in the Shreve Chair Company's office.
Arthur Young Jr. spent some time with his parents in early January 1918, then returned to his studies at Franklin& Marshall College. Before the year ended, Arthur Young Jr.would die and be buried in Evergreen Cemetery. Rulaf Young had married by February of 1918, because the Times noted that Mrs. Rulaf Young entertained the members of the Entre Nous Club in their rooms on Friday. In April 1918, Rulaf Young was appointed captain of a team to sell liberty bonds. In May1918, Clara Young and her daughter Marjorie went to Erie where they spent the day with her daughter, Mrs. Ray Cooper and family.
In 1918, Arthur F. Young took over the office of mayor of Union City and served for three years, from 1918 to 1921. He made many decided and lasting improvements in the town. In his election proclamation, Mayor‑elect Young declared, "I trust that it will be my pleasure to see harmony prevail at all times and a united effort on the part of all to give our constituents a broad, businesslike administration, to the end of which I pledge to you my earnest support."
Mayor Young became instantly popular with his constituents by recommending no tax increase for the year 1918. He lost the recommendation in the first round with council, but the Times remarked that should not discourage him. "A raise of 1 mill in the taxes is not a large amount."
Although he was very busy with his family and civic activities, Arthur still had time to experiment with his merchandising techniques and to introduce innovations for a small town merchant. He became the local dealer for the Reo Car around 1914 and displayed one of the latest models in front of his store. The new model attracted considerable attention and was equipped with a self starter and electric lights.
A post card from a satisfied customer told Arthur how effective his dealership of the Reo was for one family. A.L.Reynolds who with his family and the family of GeorgeReynolds toured in Canada and they sent A.F. Young a postcard. The postcard said, "We made Toronto the first day of our trip and never had a puncture or any trouble whatever.The Reo is some car."
One of his newspaper advertisements in 1915 spells out A.F. Young's business philosophy and the secret of the success of his store. In the advertisement he says, "This store of ours is a business with a purpose ‑ and if you have been dealing with us for any length of time, you will have guessed what that purpose is. They shortest way we can state it is that we aim to give standardized service in standard goods. By service we mean a good bit more than handing you what you ask for and punching the cash register ‑ more than courteous treatment and great deliveries. It means keeping a line up with the new things. It means looking for better grades, wider assortments, progress all along the line. It means going a little further than many a hardwarestore usually thinks of going. It means carrying bigger stocks, more satisfying range, greater freedom of selection ‑ and every article backed by us, to give satisfaction to the customer. If you are interested in anything in the hardware line call and see our line. A.F. Young By the Spring
Arthur cleverly used the natural assets of his store location, too. For many years, a natural spring bubbled in front of his store and thirsty, hot, customers would use the tin cup sitting beside it to get a cooling drink of water. Eventually the spring was capped for sanitary reasons, but all of the time the spring flowed, he mentioned it in his advertisements.
During the years 1921‑1924, death visited the Fuller‑Young family twice more. Rulaf Fuller died in December 1921, after a lingering illness. Four children, six grandchildren and two great‑grandchildren mourned him. Reverend A.S. Wilson of the Presbyterian Church conducted his funeral services and he was buried in Evergreen Cemetery. Rulaf Fuller left a business legacy and one of community service that his son‑in‑law, Arthur Fred Young, continued into the next generation and his son Rulaf and his son Marshal into the present generations.
In 1924, Rulaf's two daughters, Clara Young and Belle Everson, died within six months of each other- Belle on Monday May 18, 1924, and Clara on Thursday November 13, 1924. Reverend Ashley S. Wilson of the Presbyterian Church presidedat both funerals and they, too, were buried in Evergreen Cemetery. In August 1926 A.F. Young remarried. His secondwife was Vina Rouse, a Union City school teacher.
Arthur Young made another change in his life in January 1927, when he decided to make certain his hardware store would be family operated into another generation. He announced that he had taken his son Rulaf Young, as a partner in the hardware business. He said that the new firm would be known as A.F. Young and Son. Rulaf Young had been clerking in his father's store for a number of years and was well acquainted with the business and the buying public and his father decided to recognize his faithful service by making him a junior partner in the thriving business.
Besides selling hardware and contracting work, A.F.Young and Son sponsored cooking institutes. In March 1929,they secured the services of Miss Grace Preston of the Home Service Department in Erie, Pa. Miss Preston was well known throughout the United States as a lecturer on cooking and household engineering problems. She came to Union City and gave a series of lectures starting on Tuesday April 2 , 1929, at 2 p.m.
In July 1930, A.F. Young & Son won an important plumbing contract for improvements at the high school. The Youngs made a low bid of $1,389 for the new installations asked at the special meeting. New toilets and laboratories would be installed in the high school building in the next few weeks at a cost to the school board of $1,389. They continued their advertising into 1931 and 1932 with an advertisement in the paper that read A.F. Young & Son Hardware Plumbing, 19‑21 South Main Street.
The years 1932 and 1933 proved to be again a time of loss for the Young family. In February 1932, Arthur Young and his son Rulaf, motored to Rochester, New York, to spend the weekend with their daughter and sister, Mrs. Jack Rose. Marjorie Young Rose had been critically ill, but was now ont he way to complete recovery, or so the doctors said. In April 1932, Rulaf Young and his wife, Julia Marie, went to Rochester to visit Marjorie. In July 1932, Marjorie died at her home in Rochester.
Marjorie Young was born August 13, 1908, in Union City and received her education in the Union City public schools. She graduated from Union City High School in 1925, and attended the National Park Seminary at Washington D.C. during 1925 and 1926. In 1926 and 1927 she was a student at Mechanics Institute in Rochester, New York. She married Jack Dill Rose of Rochester, New York on March 12, 1929, and the couple lived in Rochester. Reverend Walter I. Eaton, the Presbyterian minister, conducted her funeral at the Young home on West High Street and she was buried in EvergreenCemetery.
Six months later there was another funeral in the Young family. On Thursday January 19, 1933, Arthur Fred Young died at his home on West High Street. His many friends called at his home Friday and Saturday to bid him good‑bye. Reverend Walter I. Eaton conducted private funeral services on Sunday afternoon at 2:30 o'clock, standing among a great display of beautiful flowers. His close friends Elton H. Blair, Comer H.Fuller, Ben. J. Stranahan, Charles H. Eastman, A.G. Buller of Corry and Homer Andrews of Chautauqua, New York carried his casket. He was buried in Evergreen Cemetery.
Rulaf Young carried on the family business as R.F. Young Hardware and gradually expanded the line of merchandise he sold at the hardware store. Some of his advertisements included O'Cedar Sponge Mops for $3.25 and Frigidaire Appliances, ranges and refrigerators. He sold sleds and skiis, hardware tools, tool boxes, planes, pliers, table lamps, hair clippers, Pyrex ware, Big Ben and Baby Ben clocks. Besides continuing the family business, Rulaf Young served on the Union City Council. He was elected from the Second Ward on March 20, 1933. In time Rulaf and Julia Marie Young had two sons, Marshal, born in 1928, and David, born in 1932. Marshal would be the next generation of Youngs to run the family hardware store.
Rulaf Young died in July 1973. He had spent about 60 years in the hardware business, had been actively involved in the community, and had carried on his father's tradition of innovative advertising and merchandising in the small town hardware business.
While he was growing up in Union City, Marshal clerked in Young Hardware just as his father had done. He joined the Navy in 1948 and was attached to an electronicanti‑submarine unit which went to Key West, Florida, with instruction to remove some electronic equipment from Ernest Hemingway's yacht. During the Second World War, Hemingway had outfitted his yacht, the Pillar, with submarine detecting gear and spent a year and a half cruising off the coast of Cuba hunting Nazi submarines. The Navy men found no one home at Hemingway's villa, but they saw the yacht moored to thedock. They towed it to Key West and removed the gear.
Marshal's next adventure with Hemingway happened during the Korean War in Key West when he bought a boat and ran"Young's Fishing Service." One day a fisherman fishing from Marshal's boat caught a record breaking tarpon. Hemingway heard about it and he came down and asked Marshal all about the fish, including what tactics were used to catch it. After Marshal answered all the questions, Hemingway turned and walked away.
The last encounter Marshal had with Hemingway involved an autographed copy of his book, "Across the River and into the Trees." Hemingway autographed the book and Marshal took it with him on a train. The book disappeared and eventually Marshal wended his way back to Union City. After he got out of the Navy, Marshal decided to go into the hardware business full time. To use his words: "On February 4, 1952, I was mustered out of the Navy Air Force at the end of the Korean War and I returned to Union City where I began working full time in the store with my father and Carlton Clough, who was the accountant and also a clerk. Carlton retired in 1963 and at about that time we changed the name of the business to the present, Young Hardware."
When Marshal came to work at R.F. Young Hardware full time, so did a new department. The new department in the store was called "The Fly Fishing Center," and it was announced in April 1952. In conjunction with the opening, the store offered a new fly rod to the fisherman who caught the largest trout on opening day. The only condition was that the fish had to be a brook, rainbow or brown trout from one of the area streams. Marshal, the manager of the new department, said that the store planned to carry the largest stock of fly fishing and spinning equipment to be found in this section of the country. From 1952 until it closed in the late 1990s, Young Hardware has been a fly fishing , fish story, and fly tying gathering spot for anglers.
For a number of years Marshal wrote a column for the Union City Times called Prospective on the Outdoors, carrying on the tradition of family involvement with the Times as well as the hardware business. Customers of the hardware store and outdoorsmen, in many cases the same people, enjoyed the columns. A few of the most memorable were the one about bird watching and how it can truly be a family affair. The other was a column about gathering the right materials for fly tying. In this case it was the hairs from a freshly killed cat named Fluffy, who had met her demise from a car. Marsh happened upon the scene and when he determined he couldn't help Fluffy, he decided to pass on some of her hairs to fishing posterity. Fluffy's horrified mistress came upon Marsh poised to cut off some of the hairs. "What have you done of Fluffy, you beast!" was her comment when she caught him red-handed. Marsh fled without Fluffy's hairs.
Marshal owned and operated Young Hardware with the help of his wife, Ellen, and her brother, John Suter, until the late 1990s.