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Time Capsule: Vycital Hardware of McHenry

Published: Sunday, June 9, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

Posing confidently in front of his store is John Joseph Vycital, the man in the center of this 1908 photograph. The business, on Green Street in McHenry, had been opened two years before and was to have a long, successful life.

Vycital was born in 1878 in Czechoslovakia where he learned the sheet metal business as an apprentice. He came to America in 1899. He settled first in Racine, Wis., where he worked for the J.I. Case Threshing Machine Co. as a foreman in the sheet iron department.

He came to McHenry in 1906 and bought the Green Street store, moving his large family into the living quarters above. They sold a full line of general hardware merchandise. In later years, daughter Frances managed the variety department. Son Charles joined his father in 1924. Their motto was “Quality and service through the years.”

The business closed its doors in 1980.

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