millen hardware truck


John Millen, of Bristol, Wisconsin, founded John Millen Hardware in Wilmette, Illinois in the spring of 1908, just after what at the time was regarded as the world’s greatest economic depression. The store was located at 605 W. Railroad Avenue (later named West Main Street, and finally Greenbay Road). 

Twelve years later, on Palm Sunday in 1920, a tornado damaged many structures including Millen Hardware. (Leading to a nearby restaurant being named Tornado Tavern). 

In 1923, the store was moved to its present location at 1219 Wilmette Avenue. It now occupies 5,000 sq. ft. at that location plus an additional 5,000 sq. ft. in the contiguous Lodge Building.

Besides being a fully stocked hardware store, Millen’s offers many unique items and also services tailored to the needs of the Chicago north shore. Millen Hardware serves Wilmette and the surrounding areas of Evanston, Winnetka, Kenilworth, Glenview, Skokie, and Glencoe.