Providing Louisville Residents with
Fine Jewelry for 180 Years



Merkley Kendrick Jewelers has been a leader in fine jewelry sales and design in Louisville for more than a century. Four families, over nine generations combined resulting in what is today, Merkley Kendrick Jewelers.

1824
 
 

William P. Kendrick began an apprenticeship with Louisville jeweler, W. C. Beard.

 
1832
 
 

William P. Kendrick partnered with James I. Lemon to form Lemon & Kendrick Jewelers, a successful jewelry and clock shop at Fourth & Main.

 
1841
 
 

Lemon & Kendrick was forced to liquidate due to the Panic of 1837. The partners split amicably, with Lemon later naming his son after Kendrick.

 
1842
 
 

William P. Kendrick opened Kendrick Jewelers on Fourth Street. He began with assets and capital amounting to $150.

 
1846
 
 

Kendrick Jewelers annual profits went from $765 to $1,299. Once again financially stable, William P. Kendrick went on to become a highly respected Louisville businessman.

 
1873
 
 

Kendrick's son, William C., joined the business as a partner. Kendrick Jewelers became Wm. Kendrick & Son Jewelers, located at 114 Main Street.

 
1875
 
 

The store moved to 336 Fourth Street.

 
1877
 
 

The store moved again, this time to 110 Fourth Street.

 
1880
 
 

William P. Kendrick passed away. His grandson, George P. Kendrick, joins the family business, which is renamed Wm. Kendrick Sons.

 
1903
 
 

Joseph C. Merkley was born in Jasper, Indiana. His father was a farmer who later owned a small grocery.

 
1928
 
 

Joseph C. Merkley, after working in the jewelry business with his brother at a local store, studied the watch making trade in St. Louis, Missouri.

 
1929
 
 

Wm. Kendrick Sons was temporarily closed due to the 1929 depression. It reopened in 1932.

 
1930s
 
 

Joseph C. Merkley moved to Louisville and began working as a watch maker for Elmer L. Gray, a local jewelry store owner.

 
1942
 
 

William P. Kendrick, grandson of William C. Kendrick, joined the business at the close of World War I. The business eventually passed to him and a fourth generation member of the family, William Kendrick Ewing.

 
1940s
 
 

Elmer L. Gray invited Joseph Merkley to partner as co-owner of the store, which became Gray and Merkley Jewelers, located first at Eighteen and Oak, and later at Southland Terrace Shopping Center.

 
1957
 
 

Elmer L. Gray died at the age of 89, passing full ownership of Gray and Merkley Jewelers to the Merkley family.

 
1960s
 
 

Joseph Merkley's sons Donald J. and William E. joined the business. They opened a second Gray and Merkley Jewelers store in the old Vogue Theater Center in St. Matthews.

 
1966
 
 

The Merkleys purchase Wm. Kendrick Sons, close the downtown location, and rename the business Merkley Kendrick Jewelers.

 
1971
 
 

The current location at 138 Chenoweth Lane was opened, and the two previous locations were closed.

 
1974
 
 

Sons William E. Merkley and Donald J. Merkley took ownership of the family business.

 
1980
 
 

A second store in Lexington, Kentucky was opened.

 
1982
 
 

Joseph C. Merkley passed on, after remaining actively involved in all three stores until his death.

 
1988
 
 

A Sacred Heart Academy and University of Louisville graduate, Nanette Merkley Vale joined the business full time, eventually taking over as Accounting Director.

 
1992
 
 

Donald J. Merkley exited the partnership, and the Southland Terrace and Lexington stores were closed shortly afterward. Although William (Bill) Merkley and his wife Carolyn received a lucrative offer, they decided instead to continue the family business.

 
1996
 
 

A graduate of Trinity High School and Loyola University, Brian S. Merkley joined the business, beginning five years of intensive mentoring from his father.

 
2001
 
 

Brian S. Merkley became Vice President of Merkley Kendrick Jewelers.

 
2004
 
 

Looking ahead to the next generation, Bill and Carolyn Merkley began succession planning.

 
2006
 
 

Brian S. Merkley took ownership of the Merkley Kendrick Jewelers.

 
2011
 
 

In November 2011, Bill Merkley officially retired, leaving the company in son Brian's capable hands

 
 
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138 Chenoweth Lane
Louisville, KY 40207

Tue, Wed, Fri & Sat
   9:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Thur 9:30 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Closed Sunday and Monday

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