In 1896, Whitmore Ace Hardware opened it's first store in Wilmington, IL. Whitmore Ace Hardware now consists of 13 stores in Illinois; Wilmington, Braidwood (1995), Manteno (2002), Manhattan (2003), Mokena (2016), New Lenox (2017) Coal City (2019) and Morris and Minooka (2020), Lockport, Joliet, Plainfield, and Downers Grove (2023). In 2016 Whitmore opened their first gift store, Water Street Boutique, located in Mokena adjacent to the hardware store. With the success of this new addition Water Streets soon opened at both the Wilmington and Manteno locations. The Whitmore family has passed on this hardware tradition for 5 generations. Owned today by Mike, Mary (Whitmore) and sons Michael and David, whose focus is to keep this family tradition going for generations to come.
Through the last 100 plus years we have seen many changes to our business. We have sold Studebaker cars, Model A Fords, John Deere tractors and plows, coal burning stoves, Westinghouse appliances, and even horse drawn carriages to name a few. We were one of the first True Value dealers and remained with them until we joined the Ace Hardware team in 1974. For almost 3 decades we operated a lumber yard out of our Wilmington location. Through all of these changes the one thing that has stayed constant is the home and hardware goods that we sell. We continually rank in the top 300 Ace stores in purchases of these goods. Year after year we have been recognized as some of the top Ace stores in the country. Our history as a hardware store is long and prosperous and we plan to continue this into the future with your help.