D. Knight built the first hardware in Gleichen in 1886. The original hardware site was on the southwest side of Crowfoot Street.
It is said that William (Pat) Cosgrace built the hardware on this site in the Town Of Gleichen. Pat Cosgrace came west with the C.P.R. in 1882. Pat passed away in 1907. Before he died he started the hardware store in 1905. After his passing, his wife needed help in the hardware so she sent back east for her brother Dick Notter. This store, which was a two-story building, burned down in 1916.
In 1901 Frank McKay had filed on a homestead at Hammerhill and lived there for several years. Eventually he returned to Gleichen and built himself a fine new hardware on the corner of Crowfoot Avenue and 4th Street. In 1928 they moved to Calgary leaving their son Walter to run the business. Walter passed away in 1951. The Flannagan brothers then ran the hardware, but not for long. The sign on the west side of the building said, “Flannagan Brothers”.
About 1931 Walter McKay took back the business and ran it until Russel McQueen took over in 1944. It is not known when the sign was changed to “Gleichen Hardware”, but it’s thought to have been done when McQueen had the hardware. Russel sold the hardware to Robert Anderson in 1947. Mr. Anderson ran the business until 1954 when he sold it to Harold Holton. Harold and his wife Val operated the business until 1977 when they sold it to Ali Mandani. Ali sold the building to Kirin Harsi in 2002. Kirin then converted it into a liquor store.
Contributed by: Ivy Bogstie