Stan Crader

Author & Lecturer on Writing About Rural America

virg hatfield

Stihl in America – Blog 10 – The First Flying Stihl Distributor

Virg with planeIt’s possible that Gordon Williams met the chainsaw legend of Hood River while visiting the Oregon chain plant during his days at Estate Equipment. If the two hadn’t met, Gordon most likely knew of the reputation of the owner of H&D Logger Supply, Virg Hatfield. Virg’s parents had migrated to Oregon from West Virginia. It’s possible they were trying to get as far from family as possible since during the time of the migration, the Hatfields and the McCoys were bent on killing each other—some say over a disputed pig, while others claim the feud was a remnant of the… Continue reading

Stihl in America – Blog 3

1958 – The Dodgers leave Brooklyn, America launches its first satellite, Elvis joins the Army, and two Jersey business partners board a plane at New York’s Idlewild International Airport bound for Germany. Millions were captivated by the first three events; few, other than family, noticed the latter. Gordon Williams and his life-long friend, Harding Smith, had high hopes, charisma, and a business plan. It would take all they had to offer in order to make the deal with Andreas Stihl, the father of the chainsaw.

Idlewild International Airport

Together, Gordon and Harding had more than hope, charisma, and a plan;… Continue reading

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