The roots of Smidt Furniture, Flooring & Appliance actually go all the way back to 1901, when John J. Wipf walked into a hardware store in Freeman, South Dakota, looking for work, and walked out with a chance to go into business for himself.
After talking with Fred Haar, a legendary Freeman businessman in his own right, John decided to open a hardware store of his own at a cost of about $10,000 for inventory and a building. To help shoulder the financial burden, John enlisted in the help of his brother, Joseph, and thus the firm Wipf Bros. was established in Freeman. Family members made up the staff.
In 1928, John J's son, David John Wipf (pictured with wife, Gladys) decided to branch out and start a second hardware store in neighboring Menno under the Wipf Bros. name. Eighteen years later, in 1946, David sold his share of the Wipf Bros. in Freeman and added appliances to his store in Menno, which he renamed Wipf Appliance. David eventually sold his business to his son-in-law, Harry Smidt, who discontinued hardware sales and began selling furniture and floor covering.