Over sixtyone years ago, two brothers joined forces and purchased the John Deere business in Richwood, which continues to be a leader in the state, complimented by a third generation Parrott to carry on the family name. In January 1946, Donald D. and Chester Parrott bought the John Deere operation from Tom Navin. Chet (as he became known by his friends) had returned from the Navy coming out of WWII and brother Don decided to become business partners.

After the war, farm equipment was not plentiful and Military men were given the first option of purchasing tractors from a waiting list. Parrott's business consisted of eight employees. Among the original employees was H. R. "Squirrely" Cowgill, a longtime resident of Richwood. Another employee, Max Robinson of near Richwood worked with the business during off season farm work or when the weather conditions were unfavorable for farming. Business hours at the dealership were six days a week from 8 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday thru Friday and Saturday 8:00a.m. until 12:00p.m. and closed on Sundays.

Parrott Implement Company co-founders were brothers Chester, left, and Donald Parrott. The January 3, 1946 edition of The Richwood Gazette predicted much success for the new businessmen.
Bill Parrott, son of Donald on right, joins the business in 1966 and is the current general manager.
In the early years, machinery was delivered to Richwood by railroad. Small equipment (planters, plows and discs) were unloaded from railroad cars near the original facility which was located off Fulton Street (the present location of Gilliland Autobody), opposite the Hunt Milling Company. Luger equipment such as combines, had to be unloaded from railroad cars from the tracks behind the present location of Richwood Flowers and Gifts. Many area dealers combined their orders and had tractors delivered in. Delaware. Each business provided drivers who took the tractors over the road to their respective dealerships.
The most popular tractors in those days were John Deere A's and B's. In the 1940s equipment most often used was 2 or 3 bottom plows, 6 and 8 foot pull-type discs, horse-drawn planters and sickle bar mowers. The first diesel John Deere tractor was built in 1949. The JD116, the first wire-tied baler, sold in Ohio went to Richwood resident Jess Roberts, the father of Russ Roberts. Russ custom-baled for many area farmers. Carl Worthington was one of the first farmers in the area to receive a tractor and plow which was used on the Hoskins Farm on Mulvane Road, outside of the village limits. In the following years, two cylinder tractors were no longer made as a result of the demand for 4 and 6 cylinder tractors. Die-hard farmers, however, were faithful to the ever popular JD 730, a 2 cylinder tractor. Don and Chet traveled throughout the state trying to locate this popular tractor for their long waiting list of customers.
In 1963, John Deere Company expanded into the lawn and garden business. The JD 110 lawn and garden tractor was quite popular. When the Parrott brothers received their first shipment, (the cost of the tractor was $450) they thought it was a bit too pricey. With the farm industry advancing, so did the machinery. Diesel engines were in demand and the size of the equipment enlarged. Cab tractors and drive-type combines were too big to fit inside the-repair shop for maintenance. The shop building was soon added to accommodate the much larger equipment.

In 1966, Don's son, William Parrott joined the family business, first as a salesman. A John Deere territory manager, Charlie Soltis joined the growing business in 1972. With the increased demand for equipment, it was decided a new, larger facility Was needed. In 1974, the present Parrott Implement dealership on St. Rt. 47 East was dedicated. Seven acres were purchased from Hamilton Newman. Chet and Don bought a dump truck which was used to haul 14,000 tons of stone for the foundation of the building and the 7-acre lot/ The 50,000 square foot facility currently houses a salesroom, tire, lawn and garden, parts and repair departments. A paint/washroom building and a warehouse were also built. Three more acres were later acquired to expand the area for display of used and new equipment. At any given time local and out-of-town customers can be seen driving through rows and rows of equipment.

As Parrott Implement expanded services, a new facility was built to accommodate John Deere equipment and miscellaneous supplies needed on the farm. Owners Donald Parrott, far left, and Chester Parrott, far right, and salesmen Charlie Soltis, second from left, and Bill Parrott moved into new headquarters on SR 47E in 1974.
Another new piece of equipment which became a popular item was the John Deere snowmobile. The year after the infamous blizzard of 1978, 73 snowmobiles were sold at the local dealership. Over the years, Don and Bill recount the growth of the farming industry from the early 20 horse powered John Deere B tractor to the present 150 horse tractors in the 7000 and 8000 series. From 1946 to the present, the dealership has also sold hardware items, such as fencing, tools, jacks, oil, etc. They have also been successful Goodyear tire dealers.

Both Don and Chet retired from the family business in 1973, although many times they were called upon to lend a helping hand. Chet died November 10, 1987, but his dream lives on. The business today has increased from the original number of 8 employees to 25. Raymond Jones of near LaRue has been with Parrotts for 31 of the 50 years. In 1989, the family business welcomed a third generation member. Don Parrott, son of Bill Parrott joined the team as a salesman.

Customers of Parrotts are not limited to the local area. Equipment has been sold throughout Ohio, to all surrounding states and as far away as California, Texas and Montana. During the past 10 years, Parrotts have been listed in the top 10 dealers in the Columbus branch, which covers a 17 state area. They have also been very supportive of the Richwood community. For 50 years they have had displays of equipment at the Richwood Independent Fair, supported the FFA and 4-H clubs in the area and have been instrumental in the success of the North Union Athletic Complex, an organization supporting the school district athletes.

Parrott's motto "We're more than sales and service" is a proven fact and will continue to serve the family business for another fifty years.

Copyright © 2004 Parrott Implement Company, Richwood, Ohio

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