|THERE'S A LOT OF HISTORY IN A COMPANY THAT'S BEEN AROUND FOR 69 YEARS!|
ΗORST DISTRIBUTING, INC. had its humble beginnings in 1946, when ARTHUR J. HORST, a University of Wisconsin graduate, with a degree in Engineering, started the Horst/Miller Co. The new Company specialized in land surveying and landscaping. Its major client was Calumet County Highway Department, which had hired the Horst/Miller Co., to do its road surveying prior to rebuilding the roads.
At that time, the new Company shared its rented quarters with an appliance dealer. One night, a fire, starting in the appliance store, also destroyed the Horst/Miller Co. This was a tremendous loss as all of Mr. Horst's surveys being prepared for the County, were destroyed.
As luck would have it, there was a vacant garage and machine shop directly across the street. It was here that Horst Engineering & Equipment Sales, Inc., began. With a limited line of credit at a local bank, Horst obtained their basic product lines at this time ... Ideal Mowers and LR Nelson and Rainbird Sprinkling Equipment. Golf course tee and green equipment, a reel grinder, some parts and tools were also added.
Horst's original organization consisted of Art Horst as salesman, and his wife Alice, as bookkeeper. In 1947 Dean Connors was added as a mechanic and remained with Horst Distributing until his retirement 43 years later!
It was during 1948 that a Jacobsen Consumer Dealership was obtained and it was also during this time that Jacobsen purchased the Worthington Mower Co., and a limited territory was secured for Horst selling fairway mowers and the Jacobsen power greensmower. To this day, Horst remains as a Jacobsen Commercial Distributorship.
In 1960, Horst Engineering & Equipment Sales, Inc., moved to its present location on Hwy. 57 in Chilton. It was in the late 60's when many product lines were then added and extensive building took place, with additional warehousing being needed to help accommodate the increase in the volume of sales and services needed. Numerous employees were added in the 60's and 70's to keep up with the increasing demands.
In 1972 Horst Engineering & Equipment Sales, Inc., changed their name to Horst Distributing, Inc., as they had discontinued the engineering part of their business and focused on distribution of turf equipment and supplies.
In 1974 Arthur J. Horst retired from his Company and John Mortimer, who joined the Company in 1953, was named its new President. Throughout the years Horst Distributing has worked on building up its employee base with experienced and knowledgeable employees to accommodate the customer's needs in reference to maintaining turf and the equipment needed to maintain that turf. HORST DISTRIBUTING, INC. had made its niche in the Industry and focused on its service to the customer.
HORST DISTRIBUTING is a unique Company in many aspects. It is employee owned, with that pride in ownership showing in the quality of service that it has provided for over 65 YEARS! Service is how we sell ourselves. There are many competitive brands in this industry that are on a level playing field with the products that Horst Distributing handles, but what makes a company stand out is the SERVICE that it provides to the customer.
Horst Distributing employs 14 full-time and 2 part-time personnel. Of its 16 employees, over half have been with the Company 25 years or more! Five of those having been with Horst Distributing over 37 years!
John Mortimer's son, Grant, joined Horst Distributing in 1993 after having graduated from UW-Milwaukee in 1988 with a marketing degree and a minor in finance. Grant became Horst Distributing's third President in 1995. Grant has continued in his father's footsteps while also bringing a fresh outlook to the company. Many product lines have been added in keeping up with the constant demand to be a one-stop shop for their customers. John Mortimer remains on a part-time basis with Horst Distributing as its Chairman of the Board, having been involved with the Company for the past 56 years!
Horst Distributing will continue to focus on its long-time strengths, and it greatest strength... its knowledgeable sales force and loyal employees.
SERVICE IS NOT OUR MOTTO, ITS OUR BUSINESS.