Williamston Ace Hardware & Rental was founded in 1925 by J.L. Simpson. The company is currently owned by Jim Simpson, the grandson of J.L. Simpson. Jim’s father, Mike, operated the business until his death in 1966. Jim's mother, Helen, then continued the business after her husband’s death, at age 41, until their son Jim returned from earning a degree from Clemson University in 1972. Helen remained active in the family’s business until she retired at the age of 82. Jim’s son Mike is now the fourth generation of the Simpson family to continue in the business. Mike graduated with honors from Tusculum College in Greeneville, Tennessee with a degree in Business Administration.
The company has made many changes through the years to serve the evolving needs of the community it serves. From a cotton gin, lumber yard and general building supply outlet, the company has evolved into a complete modern hardware store with an extensive line of rental equipment. The one thing that has remained constant throughout the company’s 90 year history is its commitment to honesty, integrity, and outstanding customer service.
Honea Path Ace Hardware: Early in 2014 the company's management team decided it was time to look to ways to grow or expand the business. It was determined that the best way to do that would be to open an additional location. After evaluating a number of possible locations within the company's extended trade area, it was decided that Honea Path, and its surrounding community, offered the company the best opportunity to meet the needs of an underserved community. Once a location was secured, things moved quickly to bring their dream to reality. With the dedicated effort of the management team, all the company associates and the corporate staff at Ace Hardware, the new location was transformed into a modern Ace Hardware store with all the amenities needed to fully serve this new community. Although very proud of their new facility, management knew the store could only become successful with the support of the community they came to serve. Everyone associated with the project is extremely gratified by the fantastic reception the store has received. Not a day goes by that a new customer does not come in and thank the staff for coming to Honea Path. By God's grace, both stores look forward to serving their communities for many years to come.