following is a brief history of the Shelby Tractor & Truck
Company told through a series of newspaper articles that originally
appeared in the Shelby Daily Globe during the years 1918 through
The Daily Globe, Shelby OH January 26, 1918
TRUCK AND MOTOR COMPANY is destined to be
of the Big Factories of Shelby.
R. Kerr and Henry Wentz were at Cleveland yesterday
where they attended a meeting of the directors of Shelby Truck
and Motor Company. At this meeting Mr. Kerr
was elected President of the Company and Mr. Wentz
was chosed as a member of the board of directors.
affairs and future plans of the company were discussed at length
and all directors are enthused with he prspects before the company.
The Shelby Truck and Motor Company will get machinery running
in the local plant just as quickly as possible and the light
motor trucks that are in such demand will be on the market in
the near future. The company also expects to have the tractor
on the market before spring and the price will be within reach
of the average farmer. The light motor trucks and the tractors
will be made at the local plant and the company is already contemplating
the erection of a new building as large as the present factory.
The new structure will go up east of the present building and
will doubtless be completed by spring.
out for the Shelby Truck and Motor Company which is destined
to be one of the big factories of Shelby.
Daily Globe, Shelby OH February 18, 1918
R. Kerr and Henry Wentz went to Cleveland Saturday
to attend a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Shelby Motor
and Tractor Company, At this meeting one of the Cleveland men
resigned from the directorate on account of having been drafted,
and D. M. Doty
city was elected to fill
the vacancy. The Board is now made up of mosly Shelby men, all
of whom are representative persons. The Company is not doing
much at present. Two car loads of supplies arrived here Saturday
and two more are expected today. All the assembling will be done
in the local factory and the motor trucks will be set up and
built here. The company expects to be in shape to commence work
shortly, and in a few months a large army of men will be employed
at the factory.
Daily Globe, Shelby OH April 4, 1918
150,000 Shrapnel Shells for the U. S. Government
by the The Shelby Tractor & Truck Company.
machines valued at $20,000 being installed to handle Goverment
work. Floor space of present plant to be increased by new building
200 X 60. Delivery commences May 1st and continues until January
1st. 40 to 50 men wanted before May 1st. Some skilled mechanics
brought here from other cities.
Shelby Tractor & Truck Company through it's General Manager
W. R. Kerr, has secured a big
war order, which means that their factory will become the busiest
institution in Shelby within the next three or four weeks.
contract is a very favorable one for the local company and provides
that if it should be canceled by the United States government,
the government will pay the local company all expense it has
incurred in equipping it's plant for the manufacture of shells,
plus 10 per cent. Nothing could be fairer to the Shelby company,
as they are absolutely guaranteed from loss by the government.
is the best piece of news from an industrial standpoint that
the Globe has been permitted to print for months and it means
much for Shelby. The Shelby Tractor & Truck Company must
be classed with the big industries in the future, as in the course
of three or four weeks they will be running two shifts of men,
ten hours each, night and day.
big war order will not interfere with the local concern preparing
for the building of new tractors and trucks according to W. R.
Kerr. While the shrapnel
order is being filled, the tractor and truck departments will
be given every attention.
exaggerating the situation in the least, it is apparent that
the Shelby Tractor & Truck Company is on the threshold of
one of the greatest periods of prosperity that ever came to any
industrial concern. This is due to the persistent efforts of
W. R. Kerr, the General Manager,
who from the beginning has had confidence in the future of the
Daily Globe, Shelby OH April 12, 1918
FAIR TO EQUAL
returns original investors in steel, automobiles and rubber stocks
received. It is the new enterprise, those just beginning to climb
to success - not those already at the top - that multiply for
the investors. Here is your chance. Have the wisdom to take advantage
are offering to the public $300,000.00 of our Preferred Stock,
par value $10.00 per share, fully paid and non-assessible, the
holder of which is entitled to cumulative dividends each year
at the rate of 7 per cent per annum, payable out of the net earnings
of the company in preference to all common stockholders.
it out: 3 times 7 equals 21 ; 21 plus 7 equals 28; 28 divided
by 3 equals 9 1/3, 9 1/3 per cent on the investment each year
if redeemed at the end of three years.
Preferred Stock is being sold at par and with each share of Preferred
the purchaser is given as a bonus one - half share of the Common
-- 25 per cent cash with subscription; balance 30, 60, and 90-day
notes with interest at 6 per cent after maturity.
order to make it convenient for those wishing to subscribe we
have arranged with H. K. Beck, 45 West Main Street, to take subscriptions.
reserve the right to withdraw any part or all of the bonus without
TRACTOR & TRUCK CO.
FURNISHED ON REQUEST
SHELBY TRACTOR & TRUCK CO. Shelby, Ohio
Daily Globe, Shelby, OH April 13, 1918
at 11 o'clock the big factory building and grounds that were
for years the home of the Shelby Electric Company became the
property of the Shelby Tractor & Truck Company.
deal has been under advisement for weeks and was comsumated today
by W. R. Kerr, president and general manager of the local company,
and D. M. Doty and Hnery Wentz, directors, representing Shelby
interests of the firm. ..... It means that a big modern factory
building, absolutely worth $300, 000, which has been standing
idle, will soon be teeming with life and action, turning out
motortrucks and tractors and employing labor, which means more
business for Shelby and a big start toward the 10,000 mark which
we hope to reach. It means further that the Shelby Tractor &
Truck Co. will in a short time be the second largest factory
Standard and Electric factories and grounds are now consolidated
in one mammoth factory. In addition to these buildings it will
be necessary to erect another adjoining the present Standard
building in which the tractor department will operate. The big
United States government order for shells will be handled in
the present Standard building. The Shelby Electric factory will
be entirely utilized for the manufacture of trucks and the offices
will be moved to this building.
Tractor & Truck Co. - 1919 Sanborn Map
first delivery of shells to the United States government is to
be made May 1. The first motor truck has already been made and
delivered. W. R. Kerr has correspondence from the government
assuring the local company such an enormous order for trucks
that it almost staggers one to think of the great future ahead
for the local concern.
R. Kerr was connected with the Weston-Mott Co. at Flint, Mich.,
a branch of the General Motor Co., which is a $200,000,000 corporation.
The Weston-Mott Co. employed 3, 000 people.
possibilities are just ahead of the local company. Never has
the motor truck or tractor demanded such widespread attention
as at present. The motor truck is the solution of the delivery
and transportation problems, and the tractor solves the farm
problem. No man can estimate with any exactness the extent to
which the tractor will modify the existing methods of farming.
It is apparent to all that methods are changing from animal power
to mechanical just as fast as manufacturers can turn out machines.
The Shelby Tractor & Truck Co., with a mammoth factory building
and equipment and with a tractor and truck, is stepping into
a the field to assist in suplying this enormous demand which
is going up all over the country for tractors and trucks.
article with much more)
Daily Globe, Shelby, OH January 22, 1920
R. Manning of Kansas City Becomes Sales Head
Shelby Tractor & Truck Co.
R. Manning of Kansas City, is the new director of sales for the
Shelby Tractor & Truck Co. This announcement was made today
by W. R. Kerr, general manager of the company. Mr. Manning was
formerly manager of the Sweeney Automobile & Tractor School
at Kansas City and then the head of the Coleman Tractor Co. of
the same city. Mr. Kerr became acquainted with Mr. Manning at
the National Tractor show a year ago which resulted in Mr. Manning
coming to Shelby in November for a conference.
Manning is a thorough tractor man and is conversant with every
make and type of tractor on the market. A tractor company with
millions behind it was a competitor for his services but after
a thorough investigation of the Shelby tractor Mr. Manning came
to Shelby for the reason that the Shelby company has a real tractor
that far out does anything on the market, and will back up any
representation made by it's salesmen.
the Shelby Tractor & Truck Co. grow in the next year. The
company is going over the top in production and distribution.
Daily Globe, Shelby, OH April 16, 1920
the municipal electric light plant ran short of coal and had
to notify power users to discontinue in order that they might
continue to light business places and residences, the management
took it up with the Shelby Tractor & Truck Co., and they
solved the problem of power for them.
of the Shelby Museum
tractor was soon in motion and pulled up to the door of the Metal
Products company. The door was opened and a belt was thrown over
the shafting and attached to the tractor. The wheels began to
turn and the employees of the Metal Products company were called
to work. While other power users are closed down, the wheels
at the plant of the Shelby Metal Products Co., are humming merrily
thanks to the Shelby Tractor.
Daily Globe, Shelby, OH November 22, 1920
in Select List Favored and Handled by
Hundred and Fifty Dealers.
Implement Age, which is a Farm Tractor and Implement Dealer magazine,
published at Springfield. Ohio recently sent out a questionaire
to twelve hundred and fifty of it's subscribers, who are of course
tractor and implement dealers. The questions pertaining to tractors
were as follows:
No. 1 Do
you sell tractors?
No. 3 What
What tractors are favored in your territory - two plow or three
What design is favored - two wheel - four wheel or crawler type?
What makes of tractors are favored?
replies show that a large majority of those interested in tractors
favored the four wheel type and in the two plow size. In reply
to question three, there were only twenty-five tractors named
as being handled. In reply to question sixteen, there were only
twenty-three tractors named and being handled and favored.
will be gratifying to Shelby people to know that the "Shelby"
tractor is of the four wheel type and made in both two and three
plow sizes (the popular type and size) and that the "Shelby"
was in the list of twnty-five tractors named as being favored
and handled in the replies to the questions sent out to twelve
hundred and fifty dealers.
is quite true that business in general is quite lack at present,
but the potential market for farm tractors is constantly increasing
and we have every reason to feel very optimistic as to the future
of the tractor industry.
officers and directors are doing everything within their power
to put the company forward and make the "Shelby" the
leader in the tractor industry.
Daily Globe, Shelby, OH April 5, 1921
as Secretary-Treasurer of Shelby Tractor and Truck Co.:
Move to California.
the next meeting of the board of directors of the Shelby Tractor
& TruckCo., A. A. McCormick, who has been serving as the
secretary and treasurer of the company for the past three years,
will present his resignation.
and Mrs. McCormick, who have made many warm friends who will
regret to hear of their intentionto leave the city. Mr. McCormick
has accepted a position with the Union Oil Co. of California
and will move from Shelby to Fullerton, Cal. a city of about
Shelby's size located 25 miles from Los Angeles. Mrs. McCormicks
people are residents of that community and they formerly lived
in Fullerton for five years.
McCormick was connected with the Maxwell Moter Co., at Detroit,
previous to taking up his duties in Shelby with the tractor company.
He will have served in his present capacity at the tractor factory
three years the coming May. While their many friends regret to
see them leave Shelby, they join in wishing them the greatest
success and happiness in their former home. Mr. McCormick's successor
has not yet been selected at the tractor company and he will
remain with them until the company selects some one to fill the
Daily Globe, Shelby, OH April 7, 1921
by Representatives of Manufaturing
Who Were Pleased With It.
the representative of a manufacturing company came to Shelby
and looked over the mammoth building of the Shelby Tractor &
Truck Co. He was much pleased with it and stated that it could
easily be adapted to the needs of his growing company. The concern
is at the present time located in a small town and employing
40 people. Within a year he stated that they would be employing
100 people and that if his company moved to Shelby they would
bring 25 families with them. This would be mostly skilled labor.
The remainder of the force would be employed locally. Besides
he gave local men the information that if his company located
here a foundry would also come to Shelby as the foundry company
does all their casting and would want to be located in the same
gentleman who came to inspect the tractor building was given
a price on the building which was very satisfactory. He was confident
that within one year the company would be occupying every foot
of available space.The company is financially sound, has not
missed a dividend and their object in moving is to secure a factory
building large enough and be able to secure sufficient labor
to operate their factory.
Tractors Assembly Room
courtesy of Shelby Museum c. 1920)
View of Shelby Tractor Assembly
taken in the old Lamp Works Building)
Daily Globe, Shelby, OH April 21, 1921
Big Tractor Building and Will Transform
Into Beehive of Industry.
Shelby Industrial Association, which is composed of ten representative
business men of Shelby, purchased the factory building of the
Shelby Tractor & Truck Co. The newly formed company purchased
that portion of the company's property which was previously known
as the General Electric Co.'s factory. The deal was amde under
an option whichthe Shelby Industrial Assocation has held for
sometime and which had not yet expired.
ten who make up the company acquired the ownership of the building
for one purposeonly and that is to have available manufacturing
space for meritorious enterprises to locate in Shelby. This civic
spirit on the partof the members of the company is to be commended
and before the snow flies next winter the big factory building
will be occupied by several small manufacturing companies giving
employment to many of our people.
tractor company for several months has been occupying its own
original plant built south of Franklin avenue and east of the
B & O. The big building as been unoccupied since the automobile
show. The present quarters of the tractor company are sufficient
for their manufacturing purposes and W. R. Kerr, general manager
of the company, gave the local group of men who make up the Shelby
Industrial Association an option on the plant.
section of the building has already been leased to the Beswick
Round Fabric Belting Co. This promises to be one of Shelby's
hustling industries in the near future. The machinery was ordered
some weeks ago and is expected to arrive in Shelby most any day.
The company hopes to install the machinery the first part of
May. Mr. Beswick, the general manager of the company will move
to Shelby from Little Silver, New Jersey about July 1st as he
desires to remain in his present home until school closes. The
belting company will occupy one section of the lower floor and
the remainder of the building will shortly be the home of five
or six active industries.
new company can not make flowers grow in your garden but they
are positively going to fill the big factory building with humming
machines and make it a bee hive of industry. Get behind them
and help. Shelby is alright, and by the eternal if we work together
we will yet boost Shelby over the 10,000 mark.
Daily Globe, Shelby, OH March 8, 1922
& TRUCK DIRECTORS
directors for the Shelby Tractor & Truck Co. met yesterday
afternoon at the company's offices on High School avenue in their
regular business session.
usual business was transacted. Messrs. Brady, Ott, and Ramsey
of Toledo, who are members on the board of the Shelby concern,
Daily Globe, Shelby, OH November 2, 1922
Tractor Company About $13,000, With
Left to Distribute.
Shelby Tractor & Truck Company building is now being advertised
for sale and the affairs of the company will be closed up. At
the annual meeting Walter Cook, Dr. Brady of Cleveland and W.
R. Kerr, of Shelby, were appointed a committee to close up the
company's affairs, to sell the equipment and buildings and pay
off the indebtedness.
Cook, one of the members of the committee, has inserted an ad
in The Globe and three or four trade papers in which the local
equipment and buildings are being offered for sale until December
1st. The factory building is a modern fireproof brick building
60 X 180 feet and desirably located. Bids will be received for
the plant as a whole and bids will be received for them property
exclusive of machinery. Bids will also be received for the machinery
as a whole. Full particlars are given in the company's advertisement
which appears in this issue.
Globe Ad. - Nov 2, 1922
company's indebtedness is something like $13,000 and when the
property is sold this will be paid and the balance if any remaining,
will be apportioned among the stock holders. There is little
prospect however that there will be a sum of any proportion to
is hoped that the company will be enabled to sell the plant to
a good going concern that is in need of such a factory site and
that employment will be given to additional people in our city.
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