Helping a generation of men from Hawley, Pa. and surrounding regions to look their best was haberdasher Arthur Kimble. He was in business in the late 19th century.

HAWLEY - Helping a generation of men from Hawley, Pa. and surrounding regions to look their best was haberdasher Arthur Kimble. He was in business in the late 19th century.

A large advertisement was published in 1876 editions of The Hawley Times for “A. Kimble’s Clothing House.”

The business was located at 217 Main Avenue, in the same building which for many recent years was Hunt’s print shop (J. Vance Hunt & Son).

Many of the storefronts in downtown Hawley have a long history; Hunt’s building and others nearby are clearly shown in a photograph from March 1888 picture, although many renovations have taken place.
The advertisement for the clothing store does not give us many particulars, other than quality work was promised, at a substantial savings. Kimble was also a tailor, and had experienced workmen on staff who would produce clothes to fit, using the “latest styles from the city.”

Paying cash would bring a 25 percent saving, and showing the newspaper ad would allow a discount.
We might presume this was exclusively a men’s clothing store, but this has not been confirmed.
Kimble’s home was directly behind the store, off set with a large front yard off Penn Avenue. The wood frame house there today appears likely to be the same one.

The first business reference located shows that A. Kimble was a “lumber merchant” in 1850-1851, in Paupack Eddy, the original name for Hawley.

On May 1st, 1855, Kimble entered a partnership with William C. Conkling, who had a dry goods business in Hawley.  An advertisement in the The Herald ( a Honesdale paper) said they sold “dry goods, groceries, provisions, hardware, boots and shows, crockery” and also pine and hemlock lumber, shingles lime and other building products.

There was no need for money.

W. C. Conkling & Co. took “lumber, grain and country produce” in exchange for goods, at fair prices.
Conkling’s store, as was discussed in a prior article, was found on lower Hudson Street, along the D&H Canal. He also took care of canal lock 29 directly in back. The store is still standing today, and is subdivided into apartments.

Arthur Kimble was listed as running a general store on 18th Street (Main), in the 1875-1876 business directory.  An 1890 directory, however, described him a s a tailor, with his shop in his home on 17th Street (Penn Avenue).

Street map references in the 1890’s list the store on 18th as selling both clothing and groceries.

From Paupack

Arthur Kimble was born June 16, 1824 to Burnham and Anna Kimble, of Paupack (Palmyra Township- Pike County). Arthur had three brothers Philip, Erastus and Andrew Jackson Kimble, and five sisters Caroline, Sybil, Ada, Sarah Ann and Susan. Their father, Burnham Kimble was a farmer.

The Kimbles were among the early settlers in the Wallenpaupack river valley; one of the lines of the family settled the area that now bears the family name, Kimbles, in Lackawaxen Township.

“The Kimbles are a race of strong, good-sized men, possessing vigorous constitutions and ruddy countenances,” according to Alfred Mathews, in his 1886 work, History of Wayne, Pike & Monroe Counties, Pennsylvania. “They have been active working people and contributed their share toward developing Wayne and Pike counties…”

Arthur Kimble was wed in 1850, to Melaena M. (Killiam). She was born in Paupack in 1826.
The 1870 census indicated they had a five year old daughter, Annie.

Original Councilman

Kimble was one of the original Councilmen to serve Hawley Borough.
The first election was held February 19, 1884, using the Keystone Hotel. This substantial, three-story concrete structure stood at the corner of what is now the northwest corner of Main Avenue and River Street. Built in 1876, the landmark was wrecked by fire in 1897 and replaced with the brick Odd Fellows Hall.

The Citizen referred to it as "the triumphant election of what was called the Borough ticket."
The Honorable James Millham, a merchant who recently completed a term as State Representative, was elected as the Chief Burgess (Mayor). George Schlager, Arthur Kimble, Fred Meisenger, H. P. Woodward, Thomas Mangan and Morveldom Plum were elected to Council. School directors were also named: John Weinss, S. R. Evans, Isadore Kastner, James H. Murphy, Joseph Atkinson and John E. Mandeville.

In March 1886, The Evening Gazette (Port Jervis) stated that Hawley Council had been meeting at E. Kellam’s office, but would be moving to A. Kimble’s store.

Arthur’s wife passed away at their home in Hawley, after an illness, November 6, 1897. She was 71. The Hawley Methodist minister, A.W. Cooper, presided at the service, which was held at the home. Aside from her husband, her survivors were listed as four sisters and a brother. There was no reference to any children.

Arthur Kimble was described as “an old and resected resident” of Hawley in the late 1890’s, in a news brief that mentioned he has been very ill. The long-time businessman and councilman died September 2, 1902. He was 78.

His store was still listed as selling clothing and groceries, on a 1903 map.

Movie theater

In October 1910, however, carpenters were renovating “the old Kimble store” to open a new nickelette, an early name for a motion picture theater, The Citizen reported. The Hippodrome opened in November 1910. It was the first of four movie houses in Hawley.

In later years it became Kerber’s Market.

J. Vance Hunt opened his printing shop at 217 Main Avenue in 1963.
Kimble saw Hawley develop from a small hamlet surrounding water-powered mills, to a booming manufacturing center for glass, textiles and other goods. The village expanded and became its own borough. His life span covered the arrival and demise of the 70-year era of the D&H canal; the arrival of the gravity railroad and elevation of Hawley as a hub for steam trains. Born in the quite farming valley of Wallenpaupack, while he was yet alive talk was serious about creating a vast new lake for hydroelectric power.

It was a time of great growth as a community, and Arthur Kimble had an active role.