Neosho True Value Hardware has a liquidation and retirement sale underway as they prepare to close their doors permanently. For now, the entire store is on sale with deep discounts.

It's a bittersweet time at Neosho True Value Hardware - the store began a retirement liquidation sale on Thursday that will continue until everything is sold. All the current stock and the fixtures are for sale with discounts.

"It's time," Gerry Busteed, who owns the store with her husband, George., said."We just want to retire. We're at the age where it's just time."

The Busteeds bought the store and moved to Neosho twenty-six years ago.

At that time, True Value was on the Neosho Square in a location that had sold hardware since 1913.

A year later, they built the present building and have operated on LaQuesta Drive for the past quarter century.

George Busteed changed careers after many years in graphic design when he purchased True Value but the move to Missouri was a homecoming of sorts. Both Busteeds are from the St. Louis area but spent many years in Collierville, TN, near Memphis.

"We decided to come back to the Ozarks," Busteed said. "We fell in love with Southwest Missouri."

Busteed graduated from Southwest Missouri State University (now Missouri State) in Springfield but moved to Tennessee because that's where he found a job.

"It's a double edged sword," he said about leaving the store. "It's with deep regret."

Both George and Gerry said that they'll miss the store and the customers most of all. At the same time, they look forward to retirement and plan to travel.

Grandson Gabriel Busteed, now 12, has worked at the store since the age of 3. He will be manning a register during the final sales.

"We wanted to leave the store as part of the legacy," George Busteed said. "That's one of the regrets we have."

In addition to discounts storewide, a number of prizes will be given away. The prizes are on display at the store.

Over the years, Gerry noted that their customer base has changed and many of the local industries who patronized the store are no longer in business. "It's not the same town," she said. "It's still a pretty town and a good town but it's not the same."

For the first 22 years, the Busteeds put in 7-day weeks at the store but have shortened it to six in the past few years.

What became Neosho True Value Hardware began in 1913 as Newton County Hardware on the north side of the Neosho Square. The business remained in that location until the Busteeds relocated to the LaQuesta location. Known as Newton County Hardware until the 1960's, the store was managed by Earl Wolfe for 45 years. It became known as Johnston's True Value V&S store (value and service) with one location in Neosho, the other in Cassville. The store was owned for about five years by the DePews until the Busteeds bought it.

The store was a landmark on the square for decades, offering about anything a customer might want.

"Newton County Hardware sold Model-T's," Gerry stated. "And, they say you could buy the car there, then step up to another counter to get the license."

Stock to be sold at discount includes all hardware, plumbing, electrical, tools, lighting, nuts/bolts/nails/fasteners chain rope, wire tubing, home goods, auto accessories, lawn and garden items, cleaning supplies, outdoor equipment, paint and sundries, filters, fertilizer and much more.

The retirement liquidation sale will continue until all stock is sold. And, Gerry said that customers need not worry - they are taking all necessary precautions with COVID-19 including wiping down doors and surfaces with sanitizer. They also will place tape in place to mark the 6-foot distance required at this time for customer safety.

When the doors close for the last time, it will be the end of an era in Neosho after 107 years.

Neosho True Value Hardware is located at 1725 LaQuesta Drive, next to Oriental House just off Neosho Boulevard.