Lumber & Hardware was founded in 1948 as Banas & Wrobel, by
brothers-in-law Walter Banas and Stanley Wrobel.
It started out of their garage but quickly grew to be one of the largest home improvement stores in the Monroe County area. Not only were they the first member of the Hardware Wholesalers Incorporated (HWI) co-operative in Monroe County, they became the first HWI member to sell $1 million worth of HWI merchandise in a year in the entire United States.
In the 1950's they supplied building materials to subdivisions in the Monroe County area as well as building their own subdivision located behind the store. Their business expanded into an architectural firm, financing division, real estate department - not to mention their hardware sales! The store building itself served as a social gathering place for dances, wedding receptions, ladies' knitting clubs and more on the large second floor.
In June of 1963, a tornado caused more than $20,000 in damages to the buildings - an estimated $160,000 today.
Throughout the years, Banas & Wrobel never wavered on their promise of both customer service and affordable materials.
That tradition continues today with the current owners, Hank and Carol Banas. After purchasing Banas & Wrobel from Walter Banas' estate after his death, the couple began the transformation from an almost exclusively lumber focused business into a better balanced business that if anything focused more on hardware sales to meet the needs of the surrounding community better.
In the mid '90s they expanded into a small store dealing almost exclusively with hardware in neighboring Ida. However that location was sold several years later.
the winter of 2004-05 construction began on a brand new building with more
than twice the space of the original one from the 1950's. By October of 2005, the new store was up and running, and the old one was demolished a little over
a month later.
With nearly 3 times the amount of hardware merchandise inside the store and increased storage capacities, the new building was far better suited for the hardware industry and no corners were cut in making the building itself as eco-friendly as possible.