Does anyone have knowledge of any Lake Charles, LA. Ford dealer in the twenties? My Father's family lived east of Lake Charles at Iowa, LA. where he was born. He and his brothers moved to the Texas Gulf coast to farm in 1929. His father stayed behind and didn't come to Texas until 1941. When he did, he was driving a 1927 coupe which I still have.
It is doubtful that he bought it new, and even if I knew the name of every dealer within forty miles of Lake Charles, it would be impossible to determine if it was sold new or used by one of them, but I'll be curious until I die.
Recommend you check out the historical society in and near Lake Charles, LA.
Library genealogy – http://www.calcasieulibrary.org/genealogy you might find some references to your relatives (if they are good share them if they are not, well it could have been some folks with a similar name.)
The Parish online records https://familysearch.org/wiki/en/Calcasieu_Parish,_Louisiana_Genealogy [What’s a parish? That is the LA version of a “county.”]
Other records: http://www.raogk.org/louisiana-genealogy/la-society-archives/
If they were Catholic, etc. there may be some records in the church’s files?
Good luck with your search. You never know what you may be able to uncover.
I am sure the names of the nearby Ford dealers would have been listed in the local papers. They should be available via the library etc.
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Back in the pre - yellow pages era every town published a city directory. The public library in any town big enough to have a library typically keeps a copy of the directories. Large cities like Dallas published a directory every year. Small towns might have published a new directory every other year . If there was a Ford dealer in that town the city directory will have the name and address and phone number.
From: The Chilton Tractor & Implement Journal, May 1, 1920, Volume 4 page 16 that Google has digitized at: https://books.google.com/books?id=TUhCAQAAMAAJ&pg=RA4-PA16&lpg=RA4-PA16&dq=in+the+year+1920+what+was+the+name+of+the+Ford+Dealership+in+Lake+Charles+Louisiana&source=bl&ots=TkEANPJlm1&sig=8autMiE3pLq6U_X2dKPzLcCvGFA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiij4Pl0P7PAhXJ4SYKHcEdA4IQ6AEISTAF#v=onepage&q&f=false
Thank you Google for digitizing the information.
And the Jun 1920 "Ford Owner and Dealer" has them listed as a distributor for K.R. Wilson Tools in the advertisement shown below (Thank you Tony for for making that available on your site.)
And 26 miles to the East of Lake Charles is the town of Welsh. And I am assuming (that can cause problems sometimes) that the “Welsh Ford Dealership was in or near that town. See the Ford add in “The Rice Belt Journal” Jun 5, 1920 at: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn88064402/1920-06-05/ed-2/seq-1.pdf that has:
As Royce mentioned they published City Directories. The local library or historical society might have a copy. If not, the National Archives has a copy of the Lake Charles City Directory for the years 1927-31 as well as 1934 – The Ford dealership would likely be listed there. See: https://www.archives.gov/research/census/1930/city-directories.html and click on the state. It isn’t available on line (or I didn’t see it) but you could request a copy of the listing for the Ford dealership(s). There is a good chance that the Ford dealer in 1927 would have been the Ford dealer a few years earlier also. But there were a few times when Ford Motor Company pushed the cars, trucks, tractors, and parts on the dealers and at various times. They had to pay for them or they had to give up their dealership. And some of them would stop selling Fords and switch to a different brand.
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Hap, Thank you so much for taking your time and your interest to dig up this information. I spent at least two hours tonight on my computer and came up empty handed. Mr. Huber (Huber Motor Company) was very likely the only Ford dealer in Lake Charles. I think from my searches tonight, that there still is only one Ford dealership serving Lake Charles, today. The last ad for Welsh Motor Company in Welsh, LA. is certainly another possibility as I think Welsh is about half the distance to Iowa than even Lake Charles.
The most memorable story that I can remember my Dad telling me was at the age of 14, he had to quit school to start making a living. He and his older brother got jobs at the only gas station in town on the main road from Lake Charles to Lafayette which became US 90 (later I10). They became accomplished mechanics in no time. They took a wrecked, discarded Model T; removed the wrecked body and fenders and replaced the well worn engine with a used Maxwell engine. No body; just a wooden bench to sit on. One day a finely dressed businessman stopped at the station and was bragging how fast his car was (if I remember correctly a Chevrolet or a Dodge). Well, my Dad and his brother weren't impressed and made a wager with him. They went home that day with extra money in their pockets.
Thanks, again for your help, Hap. I'll contact the local historical society to see if the have any photos of the dealership.
I'm glad it was of some help. Good luck with your search -- and please let us know what you discover.
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Terry: This may be a long shot, but may be worth a try. I have seen in the attic or back storage rooms at old dealers the old Ledger books. Most have who brought which car and what they paid or traded for it. They have engine numbers, what was added. If you have the time you might go to each dealer and ask. I have one from the Hardy Motor comp, Ball TN sitting on my desk now. Just an idea. Dan
Thanks Dan, but the current Ford dealer in Lake Charles isn't the one in business in the twenties. The present one opened in the fifties if I remember correctly. Yes, I wish I could obtain (or even look at) ledgers from the Huber and the Welsh Ford dealerships, but the chances of them even being around are slim to none, and Slim's left town already.
Hap, I made copies of the info above that you posted and mailed it and a letter, today to the Calcasieu (Parish) Historical Preservation Society, asking if any photos or other info on this dealership was available. I'll let you know if anything turns up.
Good luck and yes, please keep us posted on how it turns out.
If you get a chance would you please send me a couple of scanned or photographed pages from the Hardy Motor comp, Ball TN ledger that you have? Higher resolution than you can post on the forum would make reading them easier.
I would like to take a look at what is included. I am wondering if it might be helpful for figuring out how long from the engine number being entered on the engine ledger at the main plant in Michigan (location varied 1908-1927) and when the car was sold. And yes, sometimes the engine number was entered on the engine log at the main plant but was not stamped onto an assembled engine until the engine was assembled later at one of the branch assembly plants. I believe during most of the Model T years with the exception of the early closed cars, a few times when Henry sent cars that were not ordered, the T’s were ordered and a buyer had already put down a deposit and signed a contract to purchase the car. So the cars would not have sat in the dealer show room or on the dealer lot very long until the sales started slowing down in the later 1920s. If you click on my name at the beginning of the post it brings up my profile and my e-mail is the 3rd line down.
Some of us are always looking for puzzle pieces or copies of puzzle pieces. And there is always more to discover or rediscover about our cars.
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Thanks to Hap's suggestion of contacting the Calcasieu Parish Preservation Society, I received the following email and picture of the Huber Motor Company in Lake Charles, Louisiana.
My name is Adley Cormier and I am the Advocacy Chair for the society.
Huber Motors was located at the corner of Bilbo and Broad Streets in downtown Lake Charles. The structure that housed it, is still there. Currently, it is used by the Housing Authority of Lake Charles. I managed to find an image at McNeese State University archives, and hope it will work for you.
A bit of history for you, the building was very sturdy. There were show rooms on both floors, along with a ramp that connected the two to allow vehicle access. Very progressive for the depression! Good luck with your searches. If I can be of any additional help, please let me know. Adley Cormier
I'm glad the Preservation Society was able to locate the photo! I wish we could see some cars or something else in the photo so we could better date the photo. We know it was taken when it was warm as all the windows appear to be open. And thank you for the e-mail heads up that you were adding it to the thread.
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(Message edited by hap_tucker on November 21, 2016)