Aberle Ford celebrates 40th anniversary

Aberle Ford employees gather in celebration of 40 years in business under the Aberle Ford monikor. Pictured are (L-R) Scott Aberle, Gary McGuire, Ben Key, Dave Schuster, Corbin Cox, Scott McGuire and Vicki Edelman. Not pictured is Doug Wittwer.

Aberle Ford in Sabetha is celebrating 40 years as a family business.

The auto company was initially brought into the Aberle family in 1979, when Eldon and Bonnie Aberle bought it from Don McFall. Scott Aberle has run the business since 2002.

When asked what keeps Aberle Ford a viable business in a small town, S. Aberle said it is customer service, hands down.

“We see generation after generation come through our doors,” S. Aberle said. “We serve not only Nemaha and Brown, but especially Doniphan County along with southeast Nebraska. We continue to provide our customers with outstanding service and keep up with the every changing high tech vehicles of today.”

Seeing familiar faces in longtime employees helps customers know they can trust those with whom they are doing business. Service Manager Dave Schuster has been with the business for 47 years — since 1972. Almost every face is a familiar one — Scott Aberle has been with the business for 36 years, Parts Manager Scott McGuire for 29 years, Secretary Vicki Edelman for 19 years, and Service Tech Ben Key for 16 years.

Longtime employee Dave Schuster has been the service manager at the dealership since 1972.

S. Aberle said he believes their customers also enjoy shopping downtown Sabetha while they work on their vehicles.

“It’s so nice to have such great stores on our Main Street to send our customers too, as well,” S. Aberle said. “It keeps our Main Street thriving in today’s online world.”

In the past 10 years, the Aberle Ford showroom has been remodeled. Also, the business added a service technician to keep up with maintenance of customer vehicles.

S. Aberle said he enjoys meeting the various customers who come through the business’ doors.

“I like helping them find the perfect vehicle to fit their needs,” S. Aberle said. “Without our customers, we wouldn’t have been here the last 40 years. Our employees are always ready to help with all your vehicle needs.”

To celebrate their 40th anniversary, the staff at Aberle Ford invites the public to stop in on Friday, May 3. There will be free giveaways and door prizes offered throughout the day. Also, a free lunch will be served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“We look forward to many more years of serving our community,” S. Aberle said.

History

Through the chain of owners described below, Ford cars have continuously been sold and serviced at Aberle Ford’s location, 11th and Main Streets, for 105 years — starting in 1914.

According to the bicentennial edition, “ A History of Sabetha, Kansas and Surrounding Area, 1854-1976,” Bill Herrmann constructed a building at this location in 1907. In that building, Herrmann’s son, Fritz J. Herrmann, started his business under the name Herrmann Auto Co.

In 1914, Ford Motor Company gave F.J. Herrmann the Ford franchise to handle the Model T and later the Fordson Tractor. He was not the first Sabetha businessman to sell Fords, however. Josh Mishler was the first to sell Ford cars in Sabetha, but he dropped the Ford in 1914.

In 1925, Doc Jones and his son-in-law, Sam B. Cook, bought Herrmann Auto Co., and named it Cook-Jones Motor Co., which also sold Fords.

In November 1954, Cook-Jones sold to Donald L. McFall, who named the company McFall Motors and sold Fords. He owned the business until he sold it to the Eldon and Bonnie Aberle in April 1979. The Aberles changed the name of their new business to Aberle Ford.

The main part of the Aberle Ford facility is the original building that Herrmann built in 1907.

Amber Deters115 Posts

Amber Deters is Co-Editor of The Sabetha Herald, where she has been on staff since 2005. She specializes in school board, election and legislative reporting, as well as photography and page and advertising design. Amber is a 2005 Kansas State University graduate with a degree in journalism and mass communications, print journalism sequence. She lives in Sabetha with her husband and three children.

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