JACKSON BROS. - RE-ORGANIZATION OF PIONEER HARDWARE FIRM (1946)
Editor’s Note: For over eighty years Jackson Bros. served as Pincher Creek’s premiere hardware store. It was established by siblings Walter, Cyril and Arthur Jackson back in 1906 when they purchased the twenty year old hardware enterprise of Wm. Berry and Sons. Re-located to the corner of Main Street and Bridge Avenue, it sold everything from tools, hammers and nails to men’s clothing and western wear. After the first four decades of successful operation the three original partners retired, to be succeeded by John Jackson, E. Gordon Tucker and Ted Tucker. This article, which appeared in the July 18th, 1946 of the Pincher Creek Echo, highlights the store’s history, the changes which it faced and brief biographies of the new partners. - Farley Wuth
“Jackson Bros, one of the oldest and best known hardware businesses in Alberta, have announced a re-organization in which three new partners have been admitted – Gordon Tucker, his son Ted, and John Jackson, son of one of the original partners. Cyril and Walter Jackson, who operated the business for over 40 years have both retired but will continue to retain an interest in the firm for a few years.
It was in 1906 that the three Jackson brothers, Arthur, Walter and Cyril, left Regina and moved west, buying out the hardware business operated in Pincher Creek by Wm. Berry & Sons which was located at the west end of Main Street in the building occupied by John Milne.
In addition to hardware the firm took both plumbing and tinsmithing contracts. Amongst other jobs, the firm installed the heating in the King Edward Hotel and the Catholic Church, and did the plumbing for the Government buildings in the Peigan Reserve. Gordon Tucker was first employed on this type of work when he started with the firm in 1908.
In 1912 the firm bought out the harness and saddlery business of Robert Cooper.
Included in the payroll records in the early days of the firm were such well-known local names as Charlie McAlpin, Tom Hoare, Arthur Williams, Fred Fournier, Dominic Cyr, Edgar Robinson and Alex McMurdo.
In 1907 a move was made down Main Street to the building then owned by L H. Hunter, where Jackson Bros. has been located ever since. In the year 1921 the elder brother Arthur retired on account of ill health. In 1933, Cyril Jackson’s health began to fail and from then till his retirement in 1943, he was unable to give full time to the business for other than limited periods. Walter Jackson stayed on until January of this year when he moved to Vancouver Island.
John Jackson, who will be acting as accountant for the new firm, was born and educated in Pincher Creek, leaving in 1934 to serve his articles in accountancy in Lethbridge. Four years later, with his degree of Chartered Accountant, he moved to Calgary where he was employed in the Calgary branch of Price, Waterhouse & Co. until he joined the Air Force in the summer of 1940. In March of this year, he returned after two years overseas and was retired with the rank of Wing Commander.
Gordon Tucker was born and raised in Weyburn, Saskatchewan and recalls that he spent a considerable part of his boyhood assembling farm implements during the boom days. He joined the Canadian Bank of Commerce and was sent to Pincher Creek in 1907; in the spring of 1908 he left the bank to work for Jackson Bros. At this time he was one of the outstanding athletes of the town, playing on both the baseball and hockey teams; he also joined the Fire Brigade in 1909 and has been an active member ever since. Mr. Tucker, who is well known as one of the best hardware men in the west, will continue to manage the hardware department.
Ted Tucker was born and educated in Pincher Creek and left during the winter of 1932-33 to take the Normal School course in Calgary. For the next few years he taught school in the district, at Utopia School and at the Hutterite Colony. In 1937 he left teaching to follow in his father’s footsteps and started with Jackson Bros. He has always taken considerable interest in young people, having been Scoutmaster for a number of years and a member of the Air Cadets Committee. His interest in the community has not stopped there as he is an active member of the local Reserve Army unit and of the Fire Brigade, and is Secretary-Treasurer of the Community Centre. Ted will continue to manage the saddlery and men’s wear side of the store.
Although the new management has plans for alterations and improvements to the store, they will continue to stress “service” as a policy as did the old store for so many years.”