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What Wendell Phillips said of great Political institutions is also true of great business enterprises: “They are not made, they grow,” This saying finds ample and fitting illustration in the large hardware establishment owned by P. Basche.
Established in 1865 by J. H. Parker, two years later P. Basche and S. Ottenheimer bought him out, the later selling out a year later to S. H. Parker again, the firm continuing as Parker & Basche until 1888, when .J. P. Faull became interested, buying out Mr. Parker’s interest two years after Mr. Faull’s death Mr. Basche bought his interest and has since conducted the business alone.
The main salesroom is 25×100, two stories, and their warehouse on First street 50×100. three stories. Powder, caps, fuse. &r., being carried on the outskirts of the city is a specially constructed warehouse. As this institution virtually supplies the trade of four counties, the stock carried is one of unusual magnitude. It consists of hardware in all its branches, stoves and house furnishings, agricultural implements, mining machinery, paints, oils, and building material. In sporting goads be has such well-known. agencies as the Winchester Repeating Arms Co., Martin Arms Co., and also Smith’s, Parker and Ithica shot guns. In the house furnishing department he has the absolute agency of the “Majestic” steel range and Bridge, Beach & Co.’s line, the “Superior” stoves and steel ranges. His judgment in selecting these lines speaks for itself, the “Majestic” being undoubtedly the best range in the market, the best authorities being unanimous in their declarations that for simplicity of construction, ease of management, cleanliness in use and certainty of no repair bills it is unequalled. The “Superior” line is made by men who have 61 years experience as stove makers, which assertion should speak for itself. In the implement department he controls the sole agency of the “Oliver” plows, Mitchell farm and spring wagons, Buffalo Pitts threshers, Crown mowers, McCormack mowers and reaper’s, and Thomas hay rakes. In mining machinery he carries the Knowles pump, hydraulic glints and stamp mills of every description. He has also a complete plant for the manufacture of hydraulic pipe, being able to make any size wanted: in fact, he has sold 3500 feet of eleven inch 16 gauge steel pipe this season of his own make. In powder he handles the “Hercules.” made by the California Powder Works, which is noted for its uniformity, the company at present having a government contract for smokeless powder, gun cotton, &e, to an extent of over one million dollars.
In paints, oils, lead, &e., he carries none but high grade goods, and in building material of all kinds his stock is an unusually heavy one. The plumbing and tinshop is under the supervision of experienced workmen. Some idea of the amount of business he does can be gained from the fact that at present be has eighteen men in his employ. Last year he handled about 126 carloads of merchandise, including four of wagons and four of powder, paying In the aggregate over $30,000 freight charges.