Mr. Farmer can’t help pulling into a farm dealership. It is like a magnet with a pull that draws our vehicle right into the drive. With so many things closed, checking out dealerships closed, and open is a big draw.
I have been working on stories and visits to dealerships this past month. The draw of the dealership is real, and they are truly agricultural history right here in the Midwest!
A detailed story will appear in Green Magazine about this fascinating now bygone dealership. What started out as a fur trader shop, then expanded into farm machinery after A.W. Sikkings, a St. Louis man joined in grew to be a huge appliance store and John Deere dealership in Springfield, Illinois. The clicker is the location for this shop is now the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library! So much Lincoln history can be found here!
Moody Implement Co.
Donna Moody and her son Ken own a very cool now closed Allis Chalmers dealership north of Jacksonville, Illinois. I was able to interview Donna and see the dealership that is now a museum. Her amazing collection is like walking back in time! She started at the dealership in 1960 when she was hired on as a bookkeeper. Detailed stories about this amazing place will appear in Farm World and Lawn and Garden Tractor Magazine.
Wallace & Alderson, only a building today
Once upon a time, the True Value Hardware Store in Virden, Illinois was a John Deere dealer by the name of Wallace & Alderson. Mr. Farmer can recite the history. I love to see the name engraved in the brick above the door. How cool to see the history. He has a John Deere pocket ledger showing that this business once existed. The years of the ledger he has show 1937 and 1938!
Shiloh Valley Equipment
A visit to Shiloh Valley Equipment in Belleville, Illinois unearthed a cool dealership with a lot of John Deere toys! Thanks to Andrea Casali of the Illinois Farm Bureau we were able to interview with Tom Renner and his son and grandson will result in multiple stories of antique tractors and an amazing agricultural museum! They also are planning a cool show, 100 Years of Horsepower in 2022 the 3rd week of August!
A trip to Mt. Pulaski to look at lawn mowers reveals a name change in the former Cross Brothers dealership. The furniture store next door is no more.
Driving around the countryside in search of dealerships is a draw, a history lesson and an agricultural opportunity! Have you done it? If so, what did you learn?