Mendota Manufacturing and Transfer Company

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Pictured, left to right, John Schaller, president; Julius L. Schaller, treasurer and Harry F. Schaller, Secretary.
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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.

Believe Strongly In Advertising

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.

Canvass Constantly

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.

Farm Collector Magazine
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Dedicated to the Preservation of Vintage Farm Equipment