SALEM, Ohio – In 1957, Curtis Lemon started tinkering with farm equipment. He hammered and welded and drilled and bolted – he liked the idea of taking the old and making it work like new.
Eventually, that tinkering turned into something more than just a casual interest.
Every clang of the hammer and twist of the screwdriver helped Lemon carve the niche he would fill for the next five decades.
In 1964, the businessman started selling International equipment in addition to doing repair work. After that, there was no looking back.
“Then it just boomed from there,” said Marilyn Lemon-Matheny, Curtis’ daughter.
At 78, Curtis is still working hard at the business he built – Lemon’s Farm Equipment.
Family. Today, the dealership is a partnership between five members of the Lemon family. Curtis, Evelyn, Jim, Marilyn and John Lemon work together to make the operation a success.
The company just celebrated its 50th anniversary and the family is looking forward to the next 50 years in business.
The Lemons specialize in Massey Fergusons, but they also carry a full line of new and used farm equipment.
“We’ve got a little bit of everything from A to Z out here,” said Lemon-Matheny, one of 11 employees at the Parkersburg, W.Va., business.
What they sell. In addition to Massey Ferguson, Lemon’s Farm Equipment is an authorized dealer for Bush Hog, Woods Equipment, Tisco Parts, Kodiak, Hesston, Douglas, Moritz Trailers, Sparex Parts, A&I, Topbrand Trailers and Southern States equipment. It carries a full line of parts for Massey Ferguson, Allis Chalmers, Minneapolis Moline, Oliver and White.
With everything from brakes to wood splitters in stock, Lemon’s is one of West Virginia’s top farm equipment and Massey Ferguson dealers.
And if the company doesn’t have what you’re looking for, they’ll do whatever is necessary to find it, according to Lemon-Matheny .
Customers. It’s not just farmers who benefit from the services and products. Suburban and urban customers can select from a variety of lawn and garden items as well.
Lemon-Matheny said the business targets 100 percent effort from employees and high customer satisfaction.
“Just do the best you can and service the customers,” she said.
Customers are important to the Lemons. In fact, they have a saying that sums up just how much they value those who do business with them: The first time you come in, you’re a customer; after that, you’re family.
Happy anniversary. Although they are celebrating the past this year, the family is also looking to what lies ahead and right now, they’re checking out some ideas for expansion.
Plans include some new storage buildings, with the ultimate goal being an inside showroom.
The Lemons also take pride in offering low-cost services and products, saying prices are born at Lemon’s and raised elsewhere. That philosophy goes hand-in-hand with the family’s other motto: Drive a little and save a lot.
The Lemons promise not to disappoint anyone who makes a visit to the dealership.
“It’ll be worth it,” Lemon-Matheny said.
(Reporter Janelle Skrinjar welcomes feedback by phone at 800-837-3419, ext. 22, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
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