Rt. 1, Box 79, La Moille, Illinois 61330
'This is an article from the Case Eagle along with a photo about my family's business in Mendota, Illinois from 1889-1977. At the time the article was written, they also were IHC dealers. You can see the Weber Wagon's sign in front of the building. In the late 1800s they were Gaar, Scott and Company agents up until the time Gaar, Scott sold out. My father, Harry F., worked winters of 1908 and 1909 at the Richmond, Indiana Works. They were also Deering Harvester dealers prior to the formation of the International Harvester Company in 1907.'
Out in 'The Garden Spot of Illinois,' as the people of Mendota and vicinity are pleased to call their fertile country, is located a firm of loyal Case dealers that do business under the name of The Mendota Manufacturing and Transfer Company. This company which was organized back in 1889 and somewhat later incorporated under the laws of the state of Illinois, had been dotting the rich Illinois landscape with Case threshing rigs since 1917.
Although a corporation, the active business is carried on by 'Father and the Boys,' in the capacity of John Schaller as manager and his two progressive and hustling sons, Harry and Julius. Mr. Schaller, Sr., had been a member of the firm for thirty-six years. The older son, Harry, is an authority on steam engines. During the war he was connected with the Navy Department in the branch of steam engineering with the rank of Ensign. He is chairman of the Water Commission as well as an alderman of his city. In the May issue of 'Fire and Water Engineering,' appears an article by this young engineer entitled, 'A Plan that Cut Pumping Costs of a Small Water Plant.' Julius, the younger brother, too, is very much of a mechanic. He has just graduated from the University of Illinois and is now actively engaged in the business.
This organization is housed in a modern, brick, two-story building measuring 40 x 200 feet and is located on one of the main streets of this hustling little city. An annex, 20 x 40, is now being built to take care of the expansion of business. In the main building is located the general office, cashier's office, and private office, display floor, a fully equipped machine and blacksmith shop. The machine shop is modern and well equipped in every respect, in fact, it is the best equipped plant of its kind, outside of Chicago, in the entire territory. The second floor is devoted to a work shop and repair stock department.
This firm, who do an annual business of well over $100,000, are firm believers in advertising in all of its various branches. There are two papers in this town and there is not an issue of either one or the other that does not carry one of their ads. They alternate each week, but do not fail to advertise the year around. They used the thresher mail campaign with very good results. Mr. Schaller stated to the writer, 'The threshers mail campaign has been used by us to very good advantage. It has uncovered prospects that we did not realize existed and to whom we are going to sell before the season is over.'' Each of the windows carry Case transfers and the Case Eagle sign is displayed prominently on the front of the building. Case hangers and posters are arranged on all the walls where they cannot fail to attract the attention of the farmer. A well arranged advertising display rack with the complete line of fresh Case advertising literature is handy and inviting.
Realizing that sales can be made easier and quicker selling direct from samples that farmers can walk around, feel, touch and see 'how it goes,' they carry on this floor, a big line of machinery. At the time of the writer's visit to their place of business they had on display, a 15-27 tractor, a 40 HP steam engine and three fully equipped Case threshers. They carry a varied and large stock of other farm necessities that bring the farmer to them, such as barb wire fencing, washing machines, binder twine, cream separators, batteries and small tools. These lines, with a big stock of seeds, places them in contact with nearly every farmer in the entire neighborhood and thus they have a wonderful opportunity to talk Case power farming machinery.
But in spite of their wonderful building and the farmers it attracts to it, these hustlers are not content with that only, but are constantly out in the country canvassing and drumming up business.
The two younger Schallers are the canvassers, and a better pair of hustlers would indeed be hard to find, for both of them are capable of selling and giving service on almost anything that might be out of order on the farm. Probably one of the most important branches in their business is their repair and extra parts department. It is the boast of the farmer for miles around Mendota that 'I can get any repair I want at Schaller's at Mendota. If they don't have it, they will make it.' They carry a big stock of all steam engine fittings such as valves, boiler flues, injectors, packing, waste, water glass, grease cups, grease, oil, in fact, one could almost assemble a complete engine from their parts.
These dealers have been in business so long and have built up such a splendid name for honest service among the thresher men and farmers that whenever the thought of anything comes up they automatically turn to the Mendota Manufacturing and Transfer Company.