Friday, April 25, 2008

Studebaker Family

"Owe no many anything but to love one another." This biblical motto over John Clement Studebaker's blacksmith shop near Ashland, Ohio, reflected the Dunker principles of John, his wife Rebecca Mohler, whom he met at a Brethren meeting, and of the church that met in their home in the late 1830s. These principles also made an impression on a growing family that included five sons who were later to launch the Studebaker Company, builder of wagons and automobiles.

In 1836 John Clement Studebaker built a Conestoga wagon to carry his household from Pennsylvania to Ohio and several years later to South Bend, Indiana, where the historic wagon can still be viewed in the Studebaker museum.

In South Bend two of his sons, Henry and Clement, later to be joined by three others, John, Peter, and Jacob, began to build wagons. By 1878 they were considered to be the leading wagon makers of the world. By 1897 their company had manufactured three fourths of a million vehicles, and this was several years before they produced their first gasoline and electric motorcars. The Studebaker nameplate appeared not only on many of the wagons that helped pioneers open up the American West but on wheelbarrows, bobsleds, bicycles, fancy carriages, and later on passenger automobiles and racing cars.

With all of their enterprise, the Studebaker brothers remembered another of their father's mottos, Always give a little bit more than you promise.

Source: "More Than You Promise," Kenneth Morse, The Brethren Encyclopedia