Wampum Hardware and the Davis family took the stage Monday night as they were honored by Rotary Club of New Castle No. 89 as Entrepreneur 2019.
The 125 celebrants included the Davis family, employees, and Rotarians, all gathered to recognize the history of Rotary International, Entrepreneur 2019 Dinner, and five generations of a family-owned business known as Wampum Hardware.
In 1904, Dr. Charles Davis and his brother Francis purchased Wampum Hardware, a small retail store supplying building materials, barbed wire fencing, and dynamite. Francis’s son, Elijah, joined the business as a young man and then in 1958 Elijah’s son Lynn relocated the business to New Galilee. In the 1960s, Lynn’s sons, Jerry and later Paul, expanded the business into bulk explosives, blasting and seismic services for the mining, drilling and construction industries, a bold but very timely move.
Today, over 90 percent of the business involves contract blasting. Multiple expansions, joint ventures, and external purchases over the years have made Wampum Hardware one of the largest such companies in North America.
With more than 200 experienced employees, led by Jerry and assisted by his sons Danny and Pat, they continue to make Wampum Hardware grow and prosper. The company and their crews pride themselves in being hard-working, safety-conscious and capable of handling the most difficult blasting jobs.
The family has supported numerous local and regional church and charitable activities which include Slippery Rock University’s Stone Harbor Equestrian Center, Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Pittsburgh Symphony, and New Visions among others.
Rotary was founded in 1905 by Attorney Paul Percy Harris. Rotarians today, along with community members can become “Paul Harris” members; a recognition
noted when $1,000 or more is given to the Rotary Foundation. During the dinner, Rotary #89, which was founded in 1913, raffled a “Paul Harris” membership. Ed Beck, a longtime employee of Wampum Hardware who has since retired, was the recipient of that award. Mr. Beck graciously donated his award to Jerry Davis.
The Rotary Club of New Castle No. 89 has given back over $10,000 to several local organizations through their Grants and Giving process. For more information on Rotary No. 89, please visit www.newcastlerotary89. org