Kurtz Hardware Co. proudly states it was founded in 1866 as a tinsmith and general hardware store, providing basic supplies for both residential and commercial clients.
Louis H. Kurtz emigrated from Germany in 1840. While journeying west, his parents died of cholera near Keokuk. Kurtz was only 14. He and his siblings moved to Des Moines in 1861, where he started his own business. An 1866 city directory lists it as Kurtz & Brother, Stoves and Tinware. Sanborn Maps shows it was at 508 Locust Street and located on what was called the Kurtz Block. Eventually, the business moved into the Warfield-Pratt-Howell Building at 100 Court Avenue. This building sat conveniently next to a rail line that made deliveries much easier to manage.
Over the years, Kurtz expanded his business to include hardware, plumbing, and heating. His company installed the first plumbing in the old Central Library, now the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates, and the State Capitol. Over the years, the company expanded and contracted with the economy and now the family exclusively sells commercial products. Kurtz Hardware Co. is now located at 1473 Keo Way.