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Stratford centennial
(1891-1991)

Businesses of today,   pp. 222-242


Page 228

Present employees are co-managers Bob Krause, who started in 1958 as a truck driver, and Don (Tiger) Wenzel who was
hired in January 1967 as a bookkeeper. Other present employees are Pete and Dennis Van Der Leest, Gerald (Huck) Kress, and
Rick Bangart.
Klemme Sales,
Inc.
Klemme Sales Inc. is located on the
comer of Walnut and Second Street in
Stratford. That property was first purchased
by Herman Klemme on Feb. 11,1907, from
Ferdinand QuadL In 1913 he sold the
property to Emma Brieske. She kept it two
years and then sold it to L.B. Weber. In
1915, he sold it to Mike Brunner, who two
years later sold it to Strafford Equity Co-op.
In 1922 Herman Klemme purchased it
again and started a garage that carried a
Buick dealership. Roger Schuette and
Toots Laessig were among the first me-
chanics employed at the garage.
In 1927 they obtained the Chevrolet
franchise. Herman Klemme kept owner-
ship of the garage until 1939 when he sold
it to his son George, who had been manag-
ing the business. The garage was closed
during World War 11 (1942-1946) as no
new cars were being manufactured.
With Ardell Klemme's return from the
war, the garage re-opened. Business was
expanded with the help of Bob Ulrich, Bud
Smith, Arnold (Buck) Ulrich and Jerome
Patrick. In 1951, the name of the garage
was changed to G.L. Klemme & Son. Also
in 1951 a body shop, managed by Harold
Weber, was added to the present structure.
Five years later the name was changed to
Klemme Sales, Inc., with Larry and Ardell
as owners.
The building located just south of the
garage was owned by Melvin Guenther.
Klemmes purchased the Guenther building
in 1959 and converted it into office space
and a parts department. The upstairs was
remodeled into living quarters.
Upon Larry's retirement in 1985, Tom
and Mary Stack acquired his share of the
business. Bob Ulrich and Tom Stack pur-
chased thebalance of thestock when Ardell
retired on January 1, 1988.
Extensive remodeling was completed
in 1990.
Present employees are: Tom Stack,
Early days at Klemme Sales (l-r) George Klemme, Ardell, Klemme, Bob
Ulrich, Arnold (Buck) Ulrich, Jerome Patrick, Harold Weber, Jim Weisenberger
and Delfred Kann.
Klemme Sales before remodeling.
Klemme Sales after 1990 remodeling.
manager; Jerald Scheibe and Tom Bombach, bookkeepers; Tom Sauter, parts
manager; Paul (Bucky) Drexler, shop foreman; and Donald Kroening, Kurt
Schwarze, and Mike Stack, mechanics. Steve (Tubby) Draxler is foreman of the
body shop. Also employed in the body shop are Jeff Goldbach and Scott Baasch.
228


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