Allis Employee/Dealership Registry
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My husband, Charlie Curless, was a blockman for Allis Chalmers from 1945 to 1970,working out of the Kansas City Branch. His territory was in northeast Kansas and we lived in Hiawatha in Brown County. His block extended west to Washington County and there were dealers in Hiawatha, Sabetha, Seneca, Marysville, Waterville, Washington, Greenleaf, Frankfort and Holton. Later there was a dealer at Everest and at one time his block included St. Joseph and Atchison. This was good farming country he developed a good block. His office was at home and he worked with the dealers and the company to do what needed to be done. Over the years, his block won many sales awards. It won the 1958 Sales Program and he and his dealers along with their spouses were taken to Miami Beach for a week all expense paid trip. This was repeated in 1959 with a similar trip to Los Angeles. One of his dealers, Ted Hutchison from Everest became a 3 Star Dealer and that meant a great celebration for the community with food and entertainment. In 1951, the Kansas (Kaw) river flooded the industrial West Bottoms in Kansas City where the railroads and stockyards and also the Allis Chalmers Branch office building was located. Railroad cars were washed off the tracks and animals from the stockyards were washed on top of buildings. Many were drowned. One such animal had washed in through a second floor window in the AC building. After the water went down the blockmen were called in to help with restoring things to normal. Some time later a new building was built in a different part of Kansas City away from the river. In 1962 the dealer at Everest was killed in a car wreck and in 1968 Charlie's brother, Frank "Happy" Curless, the AC dealer at Liberal, Mo. died when a small tractor he was loading fell on him. In the late 1960's my husband became upset with what was happening in the company and in spite of opposition from the Branch Manager and others he retired at the end of 1970. We moved to The Lake of the Ozarks in 1976 when I retired from teaching. He died in 1997. Some of the people I remember from the days with AC: G. R. Campbell, a blockman who influenced my husband to work for AC and who moved up to work out of the main office and came back to KC to be Branch Manager; Bill Roberts who became President of the company; John Buxbaum and Harry Doying of the KC office; Bevo and Bob Bevan, dealers at Hiawatha; Ted Hutchison and Donnie Mauslein at Everest ; C. W. "Butch" Roepke at Waterville and his brother Milt at Marysville; and Lee and Bill Flentie of Sabetha. Thanks to my Grand Nephew, Darin Stratton, for providing this forum.
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