Standing the test of time

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When Sam Bauer, with his brother, Ray, started the Bauer Oil Co. in April 1944, he had no idea how long and how large the business would become.

Today, the company has nearly 50 business units. In addition to its tire dealerships, retread shops and wholesale outlets, Bauer Built runs eight convenience stores, a bulk oil company, two quick tube operations, a NAPA parts store, and a small transportation company.

Here are some of the company’s highlights:

1946—first tire center opens in Durand.

1954—first passenger and truck tire retread shop opens.

1956—sales exceed $1 million for the first time.

1959—company is renamed Bauer Built Inc.

1960—company becomes a Bandag retreader.

1963—Sam buys out Ray and becomes sole owner.

1967—retread shop burns down.

1968—new retread facility is built on site of old one.

1976—Sam sells majority Interest in company to six partners, including sons Jerry and Jim.

1978—company moves into Iowa tire market.

1980—Sam sells the rest of his share and “retires.”

1987—company enters Twin Cities market.

1990—shareholders vote to adopt an Employee Stock Ownership Plan: Jerry becomes president of the NTDRA.

1994—Bauer Built celebrates its 50th anniversary: places 71st in the Wisconsin 100 list of its largest private businesses.

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