Hagerty Industrial Supply is a division of Hagerty Brothers Company. Founded in 1860, Hagerty Brothers Company remains locally owned and managed by fifth and sixth generation descendants of the original founder, Saul Hagerty.
"We remain as committed to our customers as Saul was, 150+ years ago. Customer service is more than a promise. It is our history and our legacy."
- Randy Fellerhoff, President
Hagerty Brothers was founded in Peoria, Illinois by Samuel "Saul" Hagerty in 1860 We are proud of our rich history and thank all of our many loyal employees, customers, and vendors who have supported us in our 150+ years of service.
We were featured in the Century Club issue of Progressive Distributor Magazine in April of 2002. We even made the cover! (see lower left) Here is that article:
The story of Hagerty Brothers Company is a story of a company that has adapted to changing technology and business conditions. When Saul, a young millright, moved to Peoria, he quickly built a reputation as a builder of mills and distilleries. By the late 1890's, he had built or rebuilt 19 distilleries in this central Illinois city alone.
He stayed active in the business until his death at age 81, when his sons Almon, Robert and H. Guy took over (the original Hagerty Brothers).
The company expanded into the industrial supply business in 1905, selling shafting, belting, pulleys, steam water and garden hose, and engine packing, and was the sole agant for the Columbus gasoline engine.
Prohibition forced Peoria breweries and distilleries to close in 1922, a major blowto the company, since all construction, repair and maintenance of those plantsceased. To survive, Hagerty Brothers started producing a product it called Shaco "shake-O" Chips (named for Saul Hagerty & Co.).
"The company owned fine woodworking equipment including a large planer," said Susan Flora Fellerhoff, great, great granddaughter of Saul Hagerty and wife of Randy Fellerhoff, current company president. "Someone thought of using the planer to make potato chip-sized oak, then toasting them until they were charred, similar to the inside of an oak keg used for aging bourbon."
Just one box of Shaco placed into an old barrell had the aging power to turn homemade corn liquor into bourbon. The product proved extremely popular and sold throughout the United States, Canada and South America. Sales of Shaco helped the company survive prohibition and the early days of the Great Depression.
When prohibition ended, the company again turned its focus to wholesale steeland industrial products. In the 30's, tough times forced Hagerty Brothers to layoff workers and cut wages. The war years saw an increase in business, as thecompany geared up to provide steel for the war effort. During the 50's, whilethe country watched the birth of the interstate highway system, HagertyBrothers bought its first fleet of trucks. At the height of the Cold War, thecompany built a prototype fallout shelter.
Throughout its history, the company continued to adapt to changing times. Today it operates multiple distribution and manufacturing operations in Muscatine and Davenport, Iowa, Decatur, Ill., and three Peoria facilities.
Hagerty Brothers has weathered theeffects of globalization on markets and remained a strong company. The spirit ofadaptation to the needs of the times is what has allowed Hagerty Brothers toendure and prosper.