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Archie Lewis McDaniel, founder of McDaniel Hardware, was born in Cumberland County, North Carolina in 1880. He came to Fairmont in the early 1900's when it was called Ashpole and, in 1905, opened a bicycle and lawn mower business, later adding groceries and renting a larger building. He was one of three partners who formed Robeson Hardware Company, and for several years he travered for the J. W. Murchison Hardware Company of Wilmington.

In late 1925 he bought E. G. Floyd's hardware and continuously operated the store until his death in 1968. Mr. Archie had a large and diversified trade, partly due to having his son Wade open a watch sales and repair shop in the front of the store. In 1948 he built a two-story building near the railroad tracks on Main Street. They held a grand opening on July 17, 1948 where many door prizes were awarded and refreshments were served.

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Photo credit: Susie McDaniel Swenson, used with permission

The hardware handled just about everything, selling plumbing supplies when galvanized pipe had to be threaded, electrical wire when it was cotton insulated, garden supplies, bicycles, lawn mowers and too much more than can be named.

Mr. Archie was active in civic and church affairs, was treasurer of Fairmont Lodge No. 528, A.F.& A.M. for 39 years, a charter member of the Fairmont Shrine Club, a town commissioner and a steward of Trinity Methodist Church. In 1954 the Civitan Club dedicated their Farmers Festival to him. In 1962 he was named to the original Southern National Bank local Board of Directors. He died May 25, 1968.

E. V. McDaniel was born in Marion County, SC to Isham and Delight Hamilton McDaniel in 1868. He migrated to the Baltimore area near Ashpole in 1873 with his family. In 1899 he moved to Fairmont and went into business selling dry goods and fancy groceries. He moved into one of the first brick buildings downtown in 1904 and began his operation there. He soon expanded his business to include fertilizers and established himself as a well-known cotton buyer in the area.

McDaniel became mayor of Fairmont in 1913 and while mayor helped found Fairmont Light and Power Company which electrified the town that year. In 1914, with McDaniel as mayor, Fairmont added sidewalks to the downtown area. During the early 1920's he was Vice President of the First National Bank of Fairmont.

He married Zettie Griffin, daughter of Silas Griffin, in 1893, and together they had eight children, Worth, Ralph, Mark, Wilton, Christine, Mary, Margaret and Kathleen.

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Photo credit: Trudy McDaniel Fisher, used with permission

Mr. McDaniel died on July 30, 1944 of a cerebral hemorage and was buried in Fairmont Cemetery.


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