In 1908 the furniture business of Rowe and Rupp was established. There were four partners; Frank Rowe from Ridgeville Corners, Lewis Rupp, and two brothers named Albert and Edward Rupp. The business was located on North Defiance Street in Archbold in the building that is now the Locker Room. Their phone number was 136.
In 1910, Albert, Edward and another brother, Peter Rupp, took over the business and changed the name to Rupp Furniture and Undertaking. Peter’s salary at that time was $12.50 per week. They all received their embalming licenses from the Cincinnati College of Embalming. The Undertaking part of the business continued for another 20 years. They stored the caskets on the second floor of the current C.I.G.
By 1930, the store’s name had changed to Rupp Furniture Company. It had also moved to what is now Lauber Clothing Store. David P. Rupp, Sr. was offered a job at Rupp Furniture by Ed Rupp in 1935. He was just out of high school and his responsibilities were sales, deliveries and janitorial duties. He also went to school and earned his mortician’s license, but he never actually used it. At that time, Rupp Furniture had three stores. They were located in Archbold, Wauseon, and Ridgeville Corners.
In 1946, Peter Rupp’s son, Paul E. (Bud) Rupp became a partner with Dave Rupp, Sr. and Pete. He continued in the business for ten years and then left to begin his own floor covering business on the west side of Archbold. In 1953, they purchased the building at their present location in Archbold. It was called the old Lauber Mercantile Building. This building had been built by Henry Winzeler in 1925. When Lauber Mercantile closed, the building was bought by Clarence Wyse and the back and second floor were rented to Lauber Manufacturing. Toledo Edison and Archbold Dry Goods had offices in the front part of the first floor. When Rupp Furniture bought the building, Lauber Manufacturing then built a new plant off Stryker Street.
After remodeling, they had a grand opening in August of 1953. Over the next 20 years, there were many changes. In the beginning, the business sold furniture and area rugs. Over the years, the list grew to include carpet, accessories, appliances, and even TV’s. Dave Rupp remembers that the Archbold store was the first business to sell television sets. One was displayed in the front window, and turned on at night so people could watch. Eventually, it had to be turned off to avoid the danger of a crowd breaking the glass.
In 1959, Peter sold his interest to his son, William G. Rupp, who had just returned from the Navy. It was during the 1960’s that Rupp Furniture added a third floor to the building. This made it the only business in Archbold with three floors of retail space.
Over the years, Rupp Furniture had stores in many locations. In addition to Archbold, Ridgeville Corners, and Wauseon, these stores were located in Stryker, Hicksville, Napoleon (about 1964) and Bryan. The Bryan store, was purchased in 1978 from Huenefeld Furniture. Two new partners joined the business in 1972. Dave Rupp’s son Anthony, bought 1/2 of his shares, and Timothy Rupp, William G. Rupp’s nephew, purchased 1/2 of his shares. After 50 years in the business (1935-1985), David P. Rupp, Sr., retired. He sold his share to his youngest son, Phillip N. Rupp, in 1986. As of 2017, the current owners of the business are: Anthony J. Rupp, Timothy Rupp, and Phillip N. Rupp. The name of the business is now RUPP FURNITURE & CARPET COMPANY, and their phone number has changed to 10 digits (419-446-2551). We have recently moved our Bryan store back to the our two buildings in our Archbold,Ohio location.