Former owner of Lynn’s Farm Equipment Jim Christensen was blindsided and dismayed when he heard Straub International in Marion was closing.
Straub purchased the dealership from Christensen in 1995.
“It’s a shock,” Christensen said. “I hadn’t even heard any rumblings. I thought they were doing good.”
He and his brother, John, assumed control of the business from their father, Lynn Christensen, in 1980.
“Dad wanted John and me to take over the family business,” he said.
However, Christensen said his brother moved on to other things in 1981.
“Dad had done such a good job with it and with all the employees that I decided to stay,” he said.
Eventually, when Christensen decided to sell, there were two interested parties.
He said the owner of one company did not plan to keep the same employees if he bought the store, but the other promised to employ them.
“I’ve known Wally [Straub] for years,” Christensen said. “I could have got more money out of the other guy, but Wally said he wanted the same people to stay working for him — that’s why I sold it to him.”
He said that Jack Regnier, the Marion mayor at the time, also was instrumental in the sale to Straub.
Transfer papers were signed in 1995 and Straub International took over implement dealer’s location.
“I just feel devastated that what my dad helped build up is going away,” Christensen said.