Business of the Month
Local Business family celebrates 110 years
"After 110 years of family service, the Forschler family is excited to continue providing the community with what it needs today"
Forschler Home and Auto in Thayer, MO and Forschler Home Center in Ash Flat, Arkansas, is the third and fourth generation of family businesses that has served the area since 1902.
The original tailor/clothing business that started in Thayer, MO (formerly called Augusta, MO), serviced the needs of the railroad community. An immigrant from Germany at the age of 14, founder Henry Forschler, Sr., apprenticed with famous organizations like Lords & Taylor and Sacks, and traveled west before settling at a prospering turn around for the Frisco Line in Thayer. Henry Sr., took his skills and knowledge to create clothing for the railroad industry. In fact, there has been handed down information that Henry Sr., even made a suit for Frank James, brother of the infamous Jesse James. The business he opened was known as Forschler's clothing store.
In 1920, the laundry business building was built (and is still exists today) and was home to the clothing department until the men's and ladies buildings on Chestnut Street were purchased in 1938 and 1939, respectively. During this time, the business was changed to Forschler and Sons when the Henry Sr's three sons, Henry Jr, Carl and Raymond joined the business. When Henry Sr., retired the business became Forschler Brothers. The business remained in this location until closing in 1998.
After returning to work with the Forschler Brothers, Larry Forschler (son to Carl) decided to invest in his own family business. In 1979, Larry purchased the Western Auto from WT Morgan, and then became a member of True Value in 1988. In 1990, the old Trimble Chevrolet building across the street from the True Value was purchased to add Napa Auto Store to the Forschler businesses. Larry Forschler continues the tradition of serving Thayer and surrounding communities today with the Forschler Home and Auto.
Forschler Home Center located in the old Wal-Mart Building in Ash Flat is partly owned and managed by Larry's son, Matt, who was only four when he was introduced to the life of owning and operating a business. After a year of college at 19, Matt followed in the family tradition and opened his first store in Alton, MO in 1992. Then, in 1996, the store moved to the entrance of Cherokee Village before finding roots in Ash Flat since 2000.
Forschler Home Center in Ash Flat has made several changes throughout the last 12 years, prompted by customer requests and market demands. In this last year, Matt has focused more into the furniture market, partnering with quality furniture manufactures to bring in ready to buy items, while still providing the opportunity for customers to obtain more personal custom selections. In addition, the mattress lines are strong part of the business, with introductory mattresses and well known brands available to suit most buyers.
Forschler Home Center continues to provide quality Outdoor Power Equipment, and has a large parts inventory for customers to buy or for repairs performed at the store. And, with the most recent edition as an authorized U-Haul Dealer, this continues to compliment the already existing rental department for light construction and home use. The slogan for the Forschler Home Center is "Everything you want… so you can do more."
The Forschler family business has passed from generation to generation, serving the communities in Northcentral Arkansas and Southcentral Missouri. And, although the family businesses and products may have changed over the years, the commitment to service remains the same, now and for generations to come.