Sabetha Hardware sells again, now named Waters Hardware

The Gerken family stands in front of the Waters Hardware Store in Emporia. Pictured are (L-R) Bo Gerken, Wes Gerken, Rusty Gerken and brother-in-law Mike Valent.

Sabetha Hardware is under new ownership again after Tim Haake with Nuts and Bolts Hardware decided to sell the longtime Sabetha business after less than a year of ownership. Tony and Alice Nichols sold Sabetha Hardware to Haake on April 1, 2021, after owning the business for 20 years.

The new owners – the Gerken family of Paola – officially took ownership of the business on Feb. 17, 2022, after they began working on a purchase since summer 2021.

Rusty Gerken said they have been in the hardware business for seven years and in the equipment rental business for 21 years, and they like to keep small town hardware stores open.

“We like rural small town hardware stores and we hate to see them close,” Gerken said.

This banner hangs on the east side of Waters Hardware – formerly known as Sabetha Hardware and Hardware Hank.

Waters Hardware has hardware stores across Kansas, as well as multiple locations in Missouri. Locations include Junction City, Manhattan, Great Bend, Emporia, Salina, Paola, Dodge City, Garnett, Wamego, Oskaloosa, Prairie Village, Topeka, Smithville, Mo., Red Bridge, Mo., Gladstone, Mo., Lexington, Mo., Kearney, Mo., and Pleasant Hill, Mo.

As for the Sabetha location, Gerken said there will be just a few changes including expanded inventory and the most obvious change – the business’ name. Sabetha Hardware will now be called Waters Hardware.

Waters Hardware in Sabetha will continue to offer tools, lawn and garden, outdoor power equipment, plumbing, electrical, appliances and green goods. Gerken said they will begin adding equipment rentals.

“We do not have a full line [of equipment to rent] yet, but will offer some things in the next few months,” Gerken said.

The hours for Waters Hardware will be Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; and closed Sunday.

Heather Stewart226 Posts

Heather Stewart is a reporter for The Sabetha Herald, where she has been on staff since 2015. She specializes in court and sports reporting, as well as photography. Heather is a 2011 Kansas State University graduate with a degree in psychology. She lives in Sabetha with her husband.

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