When we moved to Seguin, we would go to Vivroux Hardware store for anything and everything needed for the house we were remodeling. Everything! When our grandchilden visited, we would take them to the back of the store for an ice cream cone served at the soda fountain.
On July 17, 2001 there was a fire at the Vivroux building which basically gutted it. The store had been in the same family for five generations and was a downtown landmark for 123 years.
The loss forced the hardware store out of business; there is now a coffee shop (ChiroJava) and a gift shop at that location. There are plans for a new sports bar/cafe there, also. One can see the original hardwood floors and pressed tin ceilings. Read Gerald E. McCloud's article about his Day Trip to Seguin's Vivroux Hardware, July 31, 1997.
"Vivroux Hardware is the largest retail firm in South Texas. Their big two story building borders three streets. They get the bulky goods by carload and sell at a close margin. They supply almost every blacksmith in the country with his needs. Besides hardware, tinware, cutlery, etc., they handle wagons, buggies, windmills, in fact everything from a mouse trap to a threshing machine. Most of the stock is owned by C. J. Vivroux, and John Vivroux; the former is president and the latter secretary of the firm, both energetic and enthusiastic young business men, and boosters of their home city."
[The Seguin Booster, April 1, 1912 - Printed in the Seguin Enterprise October 20, 1999 ]