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Burk Auto Company, Rippey, IA

The history of the Burk Auto Company, reprinted from the article in the Rippey History Book, published for the centennial in 1970
Burk Auto Company, Rippey, IA

Burk Auto Company After the 1912 Fire

                                The Burk Ford business pictured after the fire in 1912.   From Alice Grow collection, donated by daughter, Doris Brown to Jean Borgeson in 2010.

     The Burk Auto Company, located on the southwest corner of Main and Third Street, was established in 1906 by Mr. I. J. Burk, Sr., (Frank) in partnership with his brother-in-law, Arch Morse.  At first they operated in the west portion of the building and the east section was occupied by the blacksmith shop.  After the fire in 1912, Burk and Morse installed a new glass front and brick walls.  

In 1914 Frank and Arch took the contract for selling Overland, Buick, Dodge, and Ford cars.  After the death of *Mr. Morse, Mr. Burk was joined by his eldest son, Lysle, until 1923.  Lysle worked for the First National Bank for four years before leaving Rippey.  He is now director for Edward Morris in his financial enterprises. 
      Frank continued alone until *1934 when his youngest son, I. J, Jr., (Irwin Joshua) joined his father as partner.  Frank became interested in politics in 1938 and sold his interest to I. J., Jr.  I. J. continued to operate the Ford dealership, also handling New Idea machinery, Philco Television, and Appliances until 1965 when the New Idea line was dropped.  Standard Oil products have been handled here since 1906, and in 1966 an Award Plaque was received for 60 years’ service.
      A long time employee, Chester A. Stroud, worked for Frank since 1908, with the exception of a few years in the Navy, and two years with Fry Auto Company.  After his retirement in 1963, he made his headquarters in the front of the garage until his death in 1969.
      In May, 1964, the Burks purchased the Ford and Mercury franchise in Perry, which includes Perry, Rippey, Dawson, Jamaica, Bouton, Woodward, Granger, Dallas Center, and Minburn areas.  Both garages incorporated in 1965 under management of I. J. Burk, Jr.  The grand opening was held September 27, 1964 with the introduction models.  In October, 1967, the Lincoln franchise was added.  The two dealerships sell and service approximately 300 new and 500 used cars and trucks per year, with employee personnel of 22 to 25.
      I. J. was elected to the Ford Dealers Advertising Board in 1965, for a term of three years.  In 1968 the Des Moines and Fargo divisions joined the Omaha branch, and I. J. was re-elected to the Board.  During this time, meetings have been held at Okoboji, Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Bahama Island.  Awards won by the dealership have been trips to Paris and London, 1964; Portugal, 1965; Las Vegas, 1966 and 1967, and Hawaii, 1968.
      The Rippey dealership continues in operation under management of Mrs. I. J. Burk, to service customers in the area.  A complete shop is maintained to do mechanical re-conditioning, with body and paint work necessary to put the used vehicles in A-1 condition for re-sale.  A representative stock of new cars and trucks are on display.
      Irwin James (Jim) who has worked in several departments of the dealership in past years, plans to continue the sales and managing area upon graduation from Northwest Missouri State College in May, 1970. Sally Burk-Drake was convinced by her father, “Men were not the only ones who could sell cars,” and joined the sales staff in December, 1969.”

*Families of Rippey, page 76: Arch Monroe (1876-1917), sixth child of James Taylor and Mary (Allen) Morse
*Families of Rippey, page 11 says Irwin Joshua joined his father in 1938

Isaac Joshua, “Frank” Burk d. 20 Oct 1944 d. age 67; buried in Rippey Cemetery
Irwin Joshua, “I. J.” Burk d. 12 Sep 1978, age 62; buried in Rippey Cemetery