- Written by webmin
So I’m sure by now, if you’re a car guy who has an email address, you’ve been forwarded that image of a penny postcard dated June 29, 1928, sent to Chester Bjorngaard of Maxbass, North Dakota, reminding him of the low prices for a tune-up and other service on his Model T. But it appears that nobody has yet gone digging for the dealership that sent out that postcard, C.R. Gleason Co., of Bottineau, North Dakota.
Or maybe if they did, they didn’t turn up much. As best as we can tell, C.R. Gleason (we don’t know what C.R. stood for – he’s mentioned only by his initials even in his mother’s obituary) was born in Eu Claire, Wisconsin, and possibly owned properties in Chicago before he came to Bottineau, not far south of the Canadian border. When he came to Bottineau, we’re not sure, but he built a garage there in about June 1916. We’ve found reference of a couple other garages in town, along with dealerships for Dort and Hercules truck, but Gleason appears not to have been involved in those. Instead, he became the local dealer for Alemite lubricants, apparently had a title service company in town, and allowed the local farmers to trade in horses and cattle for new cars.
From the postcard, we can assume Gleason sold Fords, but we know for sure he sold Chevrolets and Buicks at the time the company was bought by Theel Motors in nearby Rolla, North Dakota, in 1957. And from that moment on, little appears to have changed. Theel remains in business in Bottineau, still selling Buicks and Chevrolets from its location right on Route 5, quite possibly where that service postcard originated.