Henry and Ann Davies were merchants in Monmouthshire, South Wales, England. During the Long Depression in Great Britain (The European Great Depression) Ann and Henry immigrated to America with their eight children on May 1, 1886, and arriving on May 9, 1886, aboard the SS Aurania. They continued up the Hudson and settled in the Arlington area of the town of Poughkeepsie.
In 1888, their son, William H. Davies saved enough money from working the local brickyard to purchase the Main Street property where Davies Hardware Inc stands, to this day. It was first a butcher shop, which also sold general merchandise. Behind the store was a livery stable, where people would rent a horse and carriage
All of W.H's siblings and all ten children had a roll in the business, including his wife Golden Della Williams from Dutchess County. W.Hs oldest child, Carlotta, was the butcher. Earl, Hadley, William Jr.(W.Hs sons) and George W.Hs son-in-law (married to Carlotta) bought cattle from local farmers. Sheep were transported from the west in cattle rail cars. The family would take goats down to the Tulip St Station on the Hudson River, and the goats would herd the sheep up Church Street to the butcher shop.
Eventually, the store evolved into a general supply and feed store. The business was built on friendships and handshakes, as Davies would sell work tools, clothes, shoes and boots, paint, grain, and feed. Carloads of feed would arrive at Cottage Street Railroad Station where the stores work truck would pick it up and deliver to local farmers. Friendly service and quality goods helped build the store into a local mainstay.
Earl, one of W.H's sons, would later take over the store maintaining the general supplies and feed. After his time served in WWII, James Davies, son of Earl, took over as the store slowly transformed from a general supply and feed store into a residential and commercial hardware store.
Matthew and Anthony Davies, sons of James Davies, grew up in the hardware store, learning the trade and they helped develop the commercial side of the business, incorporating hollow metal and fire rated doors and frames, commercial door hinges and hardware and door closers. Surviving his father James, Matthew continued the Davies family tradition by maintaining the "customer first" approach and teaching the trade to the next (5th) generation, with his oldest daughter, Jennifer Davies-Sadowski.
Jennifer will continue to provide service to the Hudson Valley, advancing her families 19th-century store, while maintaining the traditions of her heritage.
"A historical perspective can be valuable, but only as it serves to define the current path."