Smith and Edwards, Welcome to the West Jordan Chamber!

By Lauren Finch">Lauren Finch In General Posted July 28, 2017

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Welcome Smith and Edwards to the West Jordan Chamber!!

Smith and Edwards is “coming soon” to West Jordan. This weekend, they are having a job fair. Check out their Facebook page for more information and spread the word!

“In 1947 Bert Smith and Lawrence Edwards began selling U.S. military surplus out of Bert’s backyard in West Ogden. As shipmates serving together in the Marine Corps during World War II, Bert and Lawrence became good friends. Towards the end of the war, Bert and Lawrence were told that the military had decided to dump jeeps, tanks, bulldozers, and all kinds of equipment into the ocean, since it would be impossible or unfeasible to maintain after the war. This experience helped set the stage for their soon-to-be business venture.

Upon returning home to Ogden, Bert discovered that the nest egg he’d acquired from the sale of his truck fleet before departing for the Marine Corps was still intact. His wife, Amelia, had saved every penny of it, getting by on government pay of $85/month while Bert served in the Pacific. She was the real hero of the business, letting Bert use all of their accumulated savings when he returned to buy surplus materials.

As business increased, so did the need for space. In the mid ’50s, Bert purchased the 60-acre piece of land in Farr West where the store is currently located. The new location rapidly filled with surplus buys. In these early years, with a shortage of display shelving and an abundance of inventory, the infamous store slogan was born, “We have everything you want, if we can find it!”

In 1962, Bert made a purchase that would have a tremedous effect on the future of Smith and Edwards. He excitedly purchased a large lot of Navy mooring buoys. Each buoy measured 58 inches in diameter, weighed 680 pounds, and held 442 gallons of liquid. Combined and stacked the 13,418 buoys covered several acres of land. It took twelve years, hauling nearly every day, to move the buoys from the Navy base in Clearfield (now the Freeport Center) to the Store.

Bert saw tremendous opportunity in these rugged steel spheres; Lawrence’s reaction was, “You’re too wild for me, let’s divide the business!” The two divided assets and parted as very good friends.”

For more information about Smith and Edwards check out their website…

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