Created By: Coleman Memorial Museum
45 Main - Mertz Lumber / Dunphy Hardware
From its founding in 1882, Ellendale has always had at least two active hardware stores.
Space near the Milwaukee Depot was a prime location for stores selling building supplies, lumber, and every kind of farm and household necessity.
In 1885, C.A. (Charlie) Morrison built a hardware and coal business on the present site of the Mertz parking lot. Morrison later sold the business to Fountain and Page, and in 1907 C.W. Welcher purchased it. In 1915, Albert E. Dunphy (best known as the first industrial arts instructor at the State Normal & Industrial School and the husband of the virtuoso pianist and voice teacher Jesse Dunphy) partnered with Welcher and renamed the business "Weldun Company." The name, incidentally, has no known connection to the "Do It Best" brand that is now featured by Mertz.
In 1918 a second and third member of the Dunphy clan joined with Albert and bought out Welcher's interest to form the Dunphy Bros. Company, the most widely known hardware business in Ellendale's history. A fourth member of the Dunphy family, R.J. (Ross) Dunphy became the owner and operator in 1939, and kept the business until 1961 when it was purchased by Harold Redmond and A.L. Marvick Jr. The new partners, who also ran an electrical wiring business, took down the building in 1963 and relocated to the north side of Main Street in the building that is now occupied by Seyer Plumbing and Heating.
This point of interest is part of the tour: Ellendale - Tour of the Core City