DEALERSHIPS OF THE PAST: Greenhough Brothers
Greenhough Brothers and Sons / Greenhough's Ltd.
McCormick Deering / IHC Agents
This article originally appeared in the Chapter 38 International Harvester Collector Club for Western Canada's IH Legends newsletter and is reprinted with permission. Click here to visit their website: http://www.ihc38.com/
In 1920, The Greenhough Brothers, Hargreaves and Fred along with their parents moved from their farm in Keephills Alberta east across the North Saskatchewan River to Genesee. The move was only about 3 miles as the crow flies but in spite of the river barrier their contact with the old community was maintained via the Genesee Ferry crossing of the river. The new farm was about a mile from the ferry crossing and the main road ran past the front gate.
At that time, a new era of farming was beginning, with farmers making a change from horses to tractors. The Greenhough's too were part of the changing times and in 1924 the bought a McCormick Deering 15-30 from the IHC agent at Duffield Alberta, Percy Faulks. This began an association with International Harvester that continues to today.
In about 1929 the 15-30 was exchanged for the new, more powerful 22-36. It was in the early 1930's that the manager of the IHC
Edmonton branch asked if they would consider becoming agents for the area. By 1936 the decision was made, which was somewhat influenced by the cost advantage of buying equipment for their own use. One of the first pieces of equipment for the farm that was purchased through the dealership was a WD 40, the first diesel around and a D 15 truck. The old 22-36 was sold to one of their new customers.
Their trading area extend south in the Genesee and St Francis area and north across the river into the Keephills and Duffield area, that northern region being served by the ferry crossing.
As part of the agency requirements and their relative isolation, they were obligated to maintain a significant inventory of parts for the IH machinery and trucks sold as well as for the short line equipment they carried. The original shop was used until about 1946 when an army surplus steel quonset was put into service. In 1951 a further expansion saw the addition of a showroom and much larger parts section.
Over the years the business was operated in conjunction with the farm, primarily grain and pigs, and as time marched on, the next generation eventually took over, Glen, Fred's son and Bill and Harvey, Hargreaves sons. Harvey and Bill attended SAIT in Calgary and became journeyman mechanics and welders. Additional mechanics were hired to in the shop and significant time was spent setting up equipment and picking up tractors and trucks from Edmonton.
The farm diversified too with a land clearing business and oil hauling trucks added.
Farm equipment was in short supplying the late '40s and early 50's due to the war. That trend changed in the 1950's and 1960's and they did a large volume of business in IHC's full line of equipment during that time. Equipment servicing and overhaul kept the shop full. For a time they specialized in souping up WD 9 tractors. They could take a stock 46 horsepower tractor and get up to 72 HP from it.
Picking up new trucks in Edmonton, AB, 1963/64.
In the picture above, my Dad Bill Greenhough is third from the left, 4th from the left with the coffee cup is my Grandfather Hargreaves.
Remember that old river ferry? The one that help build their business? It was replaced in 1966 by a new bridge several miles away which eliminated the flow of traffic past the farm. Seeing the writing on the wall, the dealership was terminated in 1966.
The shop continued to be used in the farm operations till today. Bill spends a lot of his spare time restoring old IH tractors. Some of which the dealership sold originally. His current projects include a T6 gas crawler and his one and only John Deere, a 1939 AR.