Our History

Here is a little of our history dating all the way back to the 1800’s! We’ve been serving our customers since 1942 and we’re proud to say so!

 

  • 1899-Alexander Lauf (Founder of Lauf Equipment) is born on Mar 17 in Toas Mo to
    • Henry B ‘Hy’ Lauf (1824-1930) of Taos
    • Catharine (Rehagen) Lauf (1874-1901) of Westphalia
  • 1924 Alex Lauf Married “Fronie” Hieronyma Veltrop Nov 24th
    • Gave birth to 6 kids
  • 1926-Harry Ferguson patents the 3-point hitch
  • 1929-Great Depression begins
  • 1930-Massey-Harris produces the first 4-wheel drive tractor
  • 1929 to 1935- Alex & Fronie live on their farm in Boonville
  • 1931- Harold Lauf (2nd generation owner) is born to Fronie & Alex Lauf on May 11
    • Grace (Vanloo) Lauf-Harold’s wife is born on May 10th.One year and one day before Harold
  • 1936-“We had 4 little kids ..I bought some stock in Heisingers (auto)garage and worked at night for quite a while“-Alex Lauf
    • Worked at auto garage from 1935-1942
  • 1941 Attack on Pearl Harbor Dec 7th
  • 1942- Lauf Equipment starts business
    • “Worked in the (auto) garage about 6 years then war came along—didn’t have no cars, no tires, nothing to sell. So we decided to get into farm machinery” Alex Lauf
    • Located at Mill Bottom in Jeff city
    • We carried farmall, international harvestor, case
    • Formerly an international dealer who wanted out of business
    • Alex purchased IH dealer for 9500.00 with 3500 down and a 6000 loan
      • “Bought it for $3500-He had a couple trucks-bins-machinery-not much, everything was gone during the war. And the next year we got some machinery-“ Alex Lauf
      • Metal rationing during WWII limited tractor production so Alex often sold most of his new inventory right off the rail cars
        • “Had a tablet page full of people that wanted to buy a tractor”-Alex
      • “Stayed there for 7 years-(International Harvester Company) said they should have somebody here who would build a building- I went to tipton and took the dealership up there for a while- don’t think they were satisfied with me yet-so I came back down to jeff city and started selling Minn-Moline & Case and finally Massey Ferguson. They got some other dealers they thought was good- in Tipton- couple didn’t know a cream separater from a mower- was the blockmans brother in law…just kept if 4 or 5 years-they went out-nobody there….then same blockman that put me out up there says ‘Alex if you want to go back up to Tipton or start a store here, you can start-run it just the way you want to.’ But I had something started here (Jeff city/Cedar city) so I didn’t do it.
  • 1951-Lauf Equipment survives the flood of 51’
    • 500 year flood
    • Alex watched his barn from farm in Boonville float past bridge in Jefferson City
  • 1953-Massey-Harris and Ferguson merge
  • 1955-we became a Massey Ferguson dealer, which is our primary brand today
  • 1955- We became a Gehl dealer which is one of our current brands today
  • 1955-Harold Alexander Lauf Marries Grace Helen Vanloo on Aug 27
    • 4 children: Thomas, Mary, Michael, & James Lauf
  • 1957-Harold rescues lady from Missouri River on December 26th
  • 1957-Sir Edmund Hillary makes the first land crossing of Antarctica using Ferguson tractors
  • 1958- “Harris” is Dropped from name to become “Massey Ferguson”
  • 1959- Hawaii & Alaska are recognized as states
  • 1960s-Lauf equipment would pick up equipment at mill bottom off railroad cars
  • 1962-Massey Ferguson becomes the world’s best selling tractor brand
  • 1963-Harold bought business from Alex Lauf—Massey Ferguson and Minneapolis Moline
  • 1964-Massey Releases the 100 series tractors
    • Massey 135 becomes the most popular tractor ever sold worldwide
  • 1969-a teenager named Larry Swillum starts his first day at lauf equipment
    • Larry later became the longest serving non-family member employee at lauf equipment
  • 1975-Vietnam war ends
  • 1977- Lauf equipment is awarded top Hesston pull type windrow dealer award
    • Lauf Equipment sells more Hesston mower conditioners than any other dealer in North America
    • Flat rate eight hours to assemble one, Jim could assemble two mowers in eight hours.
  • 1979-Lauf Equipment moves into its new (and current) building at 541 West Highway 94, Jefferson City Missouri
  • 1980-Interest rates 18% and one of the hottest summers on record
    • Harold cashed in some of his life insurance policies to keep business afloat.
  • 1981-Reagan is sworn into office
  • 1981-Massey Ferguson introduces the “Gentle Giants” The 850-860 big capacity combines
  • 1986- Alexander Lauf founder of Lauf Equipment passes away on march 16 in Jeff City mo
  • 1989-Lauf equipment gets first computer system used for parts and sales
  • 1991-AGCO corporation is formed along with Allis-Gleaner Company
  • 1992-expand shop portion of business adding appox 6,000 square feet
  • 1993-flood of 93’
    • CNN live covers at Lauf equipment
    • 10,000 sandbags
    • Over 5 feet of water in building
    • The flood came while Harold was on vacation in Alaska, so his children and employees moved all the equipment to higher ground and operated the business out of Harold’s home
    • made many trips to northern customers by traveling to Boonville to cross Missouri River and come back down since highways in Jeff were down
  • 1994-AGCO acquires Massey Ferguson
  • 1995-Tom Mary, Jim purchase Lauf Equipment from Harold
  • 1995-Became a Kuhn dealer
  • 1997-Massey Ferguson was the largest-selling tractor brand in the world for the 35th straight year
  • 2006-Massey and Hesston merge
  • 2007- Massey Ferguson modernizes its three triangles logo representing the “Ferguson System, based on the important invention of the 3-point hitch and the partnership among Massey, Ferguson, and Harris
  • 2007-Lauf receives contract & becomes an eXmark dealer
  • 2007-December Harold Lauf passed away
  • 2009-Lauf equipment purchases its new & current computer system
  • 2012-Lauf Equipment wins Callaway county Agri-business of the year
  • 2012-Grace Lauf passed away
  • 2016-Larry Swillum retired from lauf equipment as the longest serving nonfamily employee, 46 years
  • 2015&2016-New roof, ventilation system, and interior redesign
  • 2016-current family members employeed at Lauf Equipment
    • Full Time: Tom, Jim, Mary, Elizabeth, Zachary
    • Part time: Jon, Patty, Justin
  • 2017-Lauf Equipment celebrates 75 years in business!