Established in 1926 by two brothers and their brother-in-law, the store’s original location was on South Oregon Street. The first tenants were a drug store and a hardware store. The hardware store was a mere 25 feet wide and 120 feet long. L.J. (Hop) Kinney, L.R. (Lloyd) Kinney, and brother-in-law Claude Keele mortgaged their properties and purchased the hardware store from J.C. McCreight on February 1st,1926 for the sum of $10 and some other considerations in gold coin. The farm near Malheur Butte was part of the corporation. Lloyd ran the farm and Hop and Claude ran the store. Eventually, papers were drawn up and gave Hop and Claude sole ownership of the sore. But, the still retained the name as it is today.
In 1946, Claude Keele’s son Bill returned from the service in World War II and joined the firm full time. In 1981 ownership passed from the original founding families and into the hands of other families. The three partners today, each of whom has family involved in the business as well, are John Kirby, Mike Pratt, and Bob Reid.
Kinney & Keele True Value has a well-deserved reputation for its extensive rental, fasteners, paint, plumbing, and stove departments. We love to help our customers out by having the specialty items they are looking for. Helping our customers from start to finish is our specialty. “I’m sure other hardware store owners will tell you the same thing,” says John Kirby. “Much of our clientele, we know them on a first-name basis. Our customers are our friends.” We like people and we like to be involved in our community
Although it began as a pioneer business it is proud to now be one of the most modern hardware stores in the nation and is in the top 10% of True Value hardware stores in the world.