Lamar will be celebrating their 125th anniversary as a community this weekend—Grant has already celebrated, and the Perkins County quasquicentennial is coming soon. This well-known former business in the area will be featured in the Lamar celebration July 15, and will be a part of the Perkins County Fair Parade on July 28.
Editor’s Note: The public is invited to Lamar on Sunday, July 15 for an afternoon picnic in celebration of their 125th. The story below is from an article for Andrews and Son’s 50th anniversary celebration in Grant in 1963.
The article about Andrews and Son was provided by Stan Cross of Lamar. He had gone to Grant and talked to Bill Potts, the grandson of Tilly Andrews, the last owner of the Grant business.
The Andrews and Son store in Lamar closed in 1953 and the one in Grant closed in 1978. The firm of Andrews & Son was organized on March 1, 1913 when the first international Harvester Company contract was signed by John Andrews and his son T. P. Andrews at Lamar, Nebraska.
In 1887, John Andrews, senior member of the firm, came to Chase County by covered wagon, locating near Lamar. After planting a crop in 1889, Andrews returned to Missouri.
He returned the next year with his wife and son, Tighman, one year of age. They located near Lamar, and like many others, shifted about several times with more or less success until they homesteaded 16 miles southwest of Lamar in 1900.
In 1912 John Andrews envisioned the growth of the country would require tillage tools to farm the land; and the plans were made to build a building and begin an implement and hardware business in Lamar for the coming year.
For a number of years their sales were confined to tillage tools and hardware items, and not too many of those.
However, Andrews, always an optimist, could see beyond the clouds of despair and plan for the future—a trait, characteristic of the family, and carried forward by his sons.
As more small grains began to be raised, they found binders becoming in demand, and when the “Horseless Age” had its birth they began to sell the faithful Titans and Mogus and their many relatives.
1916 was the eventful year, according to Tilla Andrews, as he was commonly called, because that was the year they sold the first Harvester Thrasher that had dared to challenge this territory.
The purchaser, J. R. Radcliff, was truly a pioneer. Although this machine was an early type, driven with a bull wheel and without any of the modern attachments that time brought about, it demonstrated the possibilities of such a machine.
Five years after their start in Lamar, they found that it would be to their advantage to have a store at a railroad town, so they opened a store at Venango, managed by another son, Sam Andrews.
Still another son, Lysle, grew into the business and stayed to manage the business in Lamar when his older brother T. P. moved to Grant in 1930 to open the third store under the name of Andrews and Son which featured the International Harvester line of farm machinery and trucks.
Almost as long has been the success of Maytag washing machines. Featuring their first Maytag franchise in 1915, Andrews began the sale of hand propelled Maytag washers, later the engine driven models and finally the electric washers and dryers that led the way today in the laundry industry. According to figures received from the Maytag Company of Newton, Iowa, during their 47 years as a Maytag dealer, the Andrews & Son stores sold over 2,000 Maytags.
After two different locations in Grant, T. P. Andrews built his own building in 1936, which was enlarged and remodeled in 1946, and houses their present business at 116 East 2nd Street.
In 1946, the partnership was changed. The interest of John Andrews was purchased and a new partnership was entered into between P. T. Andrews and his son-in-law, Donald E. Potts, which has continued to operate under the name of Andrews and Son.
Many additional contracts have been added to the business as it enlarged and expanded—Dempster Manufacturing Co., Krause Plow Corp., Mayrath Co., New Holland Machine Co., RCA-Whirlpool Appliance, Wisconsin Engines, Peerless Roller Mills, Miller Tillage Tools and many allied lines.