In 1949, J.J. Verschoor purchased land for a dealership from J.G. Wedmore. E&W Builders (Paul Emme and Willard Wristen) built the building. The business was named Verschoor Motor. Verschoor Motor held the Chevrolet franchise and included a Texaco gasoline station. Because they sat on old Highway 16, the station was open 24 hours a day. Verschoor Motor added the Cadillac franchise in 1950 and the Oldsmobile franchise in 1955.
In March of 1974, Leon Kaltsulas and Richard Cleland purchased Verschoor Motor. The business was renamed Cle-Kal Chevrolet-Oldsmobile and included two franchises. Ralph Dominiack built a new showroom in 1977. In November of 1979 Cleland bought Kaltsulas out.
H.W. "Harry" Knust purchased the dealership from Cleland in August of 1980 and renamed the business Harry K Chevrolet-Oldsmobile. Later that year Knust added the Pontiac franchise and in 1982 the Buick franchise was added.
In 1985, Harry K purchased the Knox Champlin station on the corner of Courtland and Beebe streets. The lot was used for a used car lot and the building was used for new car prep.
In October of 1994, Harry and Doug purchased the property on which the current facility sits and in December, they formed a limited liability company from which they would operate their real estate business. ValuPact Properties, LLC was the legal name for what would become Prairie Winds Plaza.
In February 1995 they hired Facility Designs, an architectural firm from Dallas, Texas that specialized in automobile dealerships. By the end of February, a preliminary plan was on the board and elevations were available for review.
In April of 1995 the snow and rain began what turned out to be the wettest spring in recent history. The moisture delayed the soil engineers from getting out onto the property for approximately three to four weeks. The plans were finalized in May though wet grounds and a survey problem did not allow any work to be done.
They held the ceremonial groundbreaking on June 9, 1995. The store was closed and all employees took part in the ceremony. Honored guests included Al Mueller, Alice Hutmacher, mayor of Oacoma, Doug Nelson, mayor of Chamberlain, and Dina Brandt, Executive Director of Lake Francis Case Development Corporation. Following a short ceremony, all guests and employees were invited to the current store for lunch. About fifty people were on hand. Ironically, the skies opened up again just after they concluded the outdoor activities.
In early July, Lloyd Priebe and Sons Constructions began the dirt work on the site. On September 11, Darrell Gillman began digging the footings and on September 15, Brad Hickey began the concrete work.
In October, they reached an agreement with Chamberlain Building Supply to act as general contractor for the project. They would handle all facets of the project except site work.
In mid-May 1996, they decided to move on June 1. The last week of May was spent preparing for the move. Contractors worked furiously to complete as much work as they could before the move.
On Saturday, June 1, 1996, the process of moving to the new store began. Harry K employees and a crew from the Chamberlain Academy did the move. It was almost unbelievable how much work was done on that weekend. The Harry K staff truly showed their capabilities. Hats off to the staff--outstanding job.
The new store was open for business Monday, June 3. The first new vehicle delivered from the new store went to Terry and Kay Hines from Chamberlain.