For more than 45 years, the name James Locke Jeweler has been synonymous with quality merchandise and service far beyond the Tri-State borders, and at the heart of the business are "Jim" and Margaret Locke.
James A. Locke, Jr. grew up on a farm on Bell School Road while Margaret Locke migrated with her parents from Pittsburgh to Wellsville as a child. On Sept. 13, 1940, the two were wed.
Following service with the U.S. Air Force in World War II, the Lockes returned to East Liverpool, where he began working in the jewelry business at Morton Jewelers. In 1955, the Lockes went into business for themselves with the opening of James Locke Jeweler. Since its founding, Jim Locke has served as president and treasurer for the store since it opened, which attracts customers from all over the country. The store is American Gem Society rated and is an accredited American Gem Laboratory.
From their store on East Fifth Street has stemmed a history of community and philanthropic involvement unknown to most people. Within a small circle of friends and relatives are told stories of financial and emotional help given by the Lockes over the years.
Jim Locke has filled leadership roles in several community organizations, including Kiwanis Club where he served as president and the Red Feather, the forerunner of the current United Way. He was a founder of the youth baseball program in East Liverpool, helping to organize the program, where he served as coach and manager. A lifetime member of Trinity Church, he served as president of the board of trustees and was a member of its Canticle Choir.
He was manager of the former Merchants Association and was an original member of the 1st National Community Bank, now serving as director emeritus. Likewise, he is an emeritus member of the Riverview Cemetery Association.
He is a member of Masonic Riddle Lodge 315 and a 32-degree Mason with the Scottish Rite of Steubenville, Elks Lodge 258 and Past Noble Grand of Penova Odd Fellows Lodge.
Margaret Locke also is a member of Trinity Church, where she taught Bible school and was a member of the Canticle Choir and the Church Service Guild.
A charter member of the Tri-State Pottery Festival, she is a former secretary of the YMCA Board. She is director emeritus of the East Liverpool Historical Society, as well as a member of the Wellsville Historical Society and the Sandy Beaver Canal Society.
She is past member of the East Liverpool Business and Professional Women's Club and headed the East Liverpool High School Nike Club, founded by the organization. She is a member and past president of the East Liverpool Quota Club.
She was a member of former Mayor John Payne's Task Force in the creation of the former Diamond area, part of the group responsible for Santaland and the downtown Christmas lighting. She began the Plate Turners' Society, originated the Pudlian Dictionary and contributed writings to the Pottery Festival book and the Potters Handbook.
She has been vice president and secretary of James Locke Jeweler, Inc. since its opening and holds the title of Registered Jeweler with the American Gem Society.
The couple has two sons, three grandchildren and a great-grandson.