The store sells a wide variety of goods, harkening back to the days of the classic American general store. It sells gardening supplies, hunting supplies and, of course, hardware.
Aid bought the business from Charlie and Irene Short in 1987. Charlie Short opened the hardware store in 1946 after returning from World War II, said his wife, Irene Short. Short served in the Navy from 1944-46.
The hardware store shared the building with a dry goods and grocery business that had occupied the building, which Short's mother, Retie Short, owned. The hardware store later moved into the part of the building in which the dry goods and groceries were sold.
The Shorts operated the business for 40 years, hiring many employees, including Dixie Harris in 1981 and Emery King in 1980. Both worked there when the store switched hands to Aid. King managed the store for the first 15 years of Aid's ownership while Harris kept the books.
In 1995 he hired Misti Robinson, who became the manager of the store after King retired. Part-time employee Jack Mars has been working at the store 2 1/2 years, mostly on weekends.
"We enjoyed coming to Salem. Things slowed down a little," Aid said. Aid said he came to Salem every Thursday to do bookwork, fill out orders and get sales ready. "I'm amazed at the culture difference of just 30 miles," he said. He resides in West Plains.
"The people I worked with always made it enjoyable. Just running the store helped a lot of people in Salem," Aid said.
Aid's new business interest is renovating older buildings, modernizing the electricity and plumbing. He has restored 13 buildings, four on the National Register of Historic Places, in West Plains. "It takes up a lot of time," Aid said.
Robinson said she will go find a new job since she is too young to retire.
The closing sale for Aid Hardware starts June 1. Aid said the store will be liquidating its inventory and hopes everything will be sold by June 24, though he said the sale will continue until everything is gone.