1957 - Present
Charles Francis O’Reilly began his career in the automotive part business in 1914 as a traveling salesman for Fred Campbell Auto Supply in St. Louis. By 1932, he had become manager of Link Motor Supply in Springfield. One of his sons, Charles H. “Chub” O’Reilly, had also joined the company.
In 1957, Link Motor Supply planned a reorganization, which included the retirement of 72-year-old Charles F. O’Reilly and the transfer of Charles H. O’Reilly to Kansas City. Since neither agreed with these plans, they decided to form their own company, O’Reilly Automotive, Inc. They opened for business on December 2, 1957, with one store and 13 employee owners at 403 Sherman Ave. in Springfield. Their sales totaled $700,000 in 1958, their first full year of business.
By 1961, the company’s volume had reached $1.3 million. Fourteen years later, annual sales volume rose to $7 million. By that time, the company had nine stores, all located in southwest Missouri. Today, the company has stores in 47 states, including Alaska and Hawaii, as well as locations in Mexico. These grand opening scissors have been used by Charlie O’Reilly at all of the store grand openings he attended.
Categories: Business & Economy
Date: 1957 - Present
Contributing Institution: O’Reilly Automotive, Inc.
Photographer: Divin, Ben