In around 1925, Jess Organ Sr. began selling Goodyear Tires and good o’ Willard Batteries as an on-the-road salesman for Mace Tire & Battery; owned by Mr. Norman Cullen located in Vincennes. Grandpa’s route was very large, with many customers. He often had to spend a few days away to provide service to all of them. Then in 1945, Mr. Cullen wanted to sell out and Grandpa wanted to buy!
Some other guys bought the tire end of the business and that later became ABC Tire, which is now located near Best One Tire in Vincennes. Grandpa bought the battery end of the business and named it Jess Organ Battery. The first location was at 209 Busseron Street, which is where the Old National Bank parking lot is located today. This was a small place and we did not have a shop! All the work that was done on cars, trucks, and tractors was done on the curb.
Grandpa hired some help and he stayed out on the road. Dad came down after school and on the weekends like the rest of them did. Business picked up and they did a little better with each passing year. Jess Jr. came home from that little problem we had over there in Korea and things kept getting better.
The name was changed to Organ Battery & Electric Co. and in 1957, after about 4 loads in a ’53 Ford F100 the business moved to 16 N 1st. The difference this time was that we had an actual shop. A real shop where they could provide tuneups, brakes, batteries, exhaust and electrical services. With Jess & Jess Jr. both on the road, good employees, and the latest equipment, Organ Battery continued to grow. Dad is a real electrical wizard and the repairing of generators, starters, and alternators were taking off. Word got around quick and soon we stopped doing tuneups and focused on our rebuilding service.
In 1995 we moved to our current location at 434 S 15th. Having a much larger property, building, and shop allowed us to branch out even more. It’s still ‘Batteries for Everything‘, custom rebuilding and one of the largest inventories in the state. We’re now dealers for Club Car, Tomberlin, SCAG Commercial Mowers, Toro Power Equipment, and a full line of Echo Products. We have and always will service everything we sell.
It’s all a big family here and some of the 4th & 5th generation is starting to show up. It’s been a long ride and we have seen many changes over the last 70 years. Many people have come and gone and we continue to do things Grandpa never dreamed of, and we’re still here meeting the needs of our customers and friends