Three articles from the Press Enterprise about Riverside Hardware Inc., and John A. Venable.
This 1st article was written on July 31, 1951.
Both were found in the archives of the downtown branch of the Riverside Library. The second article has a
photograph of the new building. The building became Crystal’s Antiques. I am not able to get a good scan of the
articles and photograph. I am typing up each article until I am able to get a good scan to replace this page.
Forty-one Year Old Firm Announces Plans for Closing
The Riverside Hardware Company, which has been a local store since 1910, was preparing today for a stock
liquidation sale to dissolve the company.
Ray C. McClellan and J. A. Venable who bought the firm in 1940 from the Southwest Hardware Company, said
that they couldn't’t continue to operate and pay doubled rent which had been asked by the landlord. McClellan
said they were now paying double the rent when they first went into business and that another double was
McClellan, came to riverside in 1929; Venable had been in Riverside since 1921 and in the contracting business
before he and McClellan formed the hardware partnership.
Unable to find a suitable location to move to, the partners determined to close out the business but McClellan
said they might try another type of business later. At the present they have no plans ready to announce. They
will remain in Riverside.
This 2nd was written on August 20, 1954.
Photograph is at the top of the article and is 3 columns wide. Below the photograph is a caption that reads;
The new Riverside Hardware store on 12th and Main opened it’s doors to customers for the first time yesterday.
An official grand opening is planned for late September.
Riverside Hardware Opens In New Location on Main
Riverside Hardware, a firm which was established in 1910, opened for business again yesterday, this time in a
modern new cement brick building at 12th and Main Street.
The new store is owned by John Venable, one of the original owners of the first Riverside Hardware on Eighth
Street between Main and Orange, and Harold Weingart and Wayne Crom, who bought out the other former
owner, Ray McClellan.
Weingart and Crom will manage the new hardware store, which is one of the first of this type to put all of the
merchandise on open display and run on a “self-service” basis similar to the popular “serve-yourself” super
The two managers emphasize that clerks will be available to answer questions and help those who need it but
that they want to create an atmosphere where customers will feel perfectly free to come in and look around
without being bothered constantly by clerks.
Another unusual feature of the store is the absence of any show windows. The two sides facing the street are
almost entirely glass from floor to ceiling. “We want to make the store itself a show window,” explained manager
The store has about 5000 square feet of floor space and the cement brick is done in shades of green and rose.
It was contracted by owner John Venable, who is a building contractor. Doris Stay, of Old Colony Paint was color
A wide range of merchandise will be featured, including a full line of hardware, paint, housewares, and kitchen
gadgets,. Household appliances, garden equipment, and gift wares are also displayed.
Riverside Man Dies Following Fall From Horse, written July 14th, 1956
A Riverside businessman who was thrown from his horse Thursday, died about 8:30 p.m. last night in Community
Hospital of head injuries. I was announced by Deputy Cororer Jack Cook.
John A. Venable, 54 of 8319 Magnolia Ave., underwent surgery by Dr. Harrison E. Silver late Thursday night for
brain injuries, but failed to rally throughout yesterday.
Venable, owner of Riverside Hardware Co. and a partner in the Twelfth Street Cleaners, went riding Thursday
afternoon in the hills near Riverside Municipal Airport.
Several hours later his horse returned riderless and Venable's wife and a neighbor went to look for him. They
found him lying unconscious near the end of the air strip.
Dr. Silver theorized from the extent of the head injuries that Venable was probably kicked in the head by the
horse after he was thrown.
Funeral arrangements are pending at Simon's Mortuary.