Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of SR0335
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Full Text of SR0335  103rd General Assembly




SR0335LRB103 32733 LAW 62518 r


2    WHEREAS, The members of the Illinois Senate wish to
3congratulate the Knapheide Manufacturing Company, a
4family-owned and operated business located in Quincy, on the
5occasion of its 175th anniversary; and
6    WHEREAS, In 1848, German immigrant Herman Heinrich
7Knapheide moved to Quincy and opened a wagon-making shop; he
8spent 42 years at the helm of the business, perfecting his wood
9and iron-constructed wagons and selling them to farmers,
10miners, and pioneers; and
11    WHEREAS, In 1890, his son, Henry E. Knapheide, assumed
12responsibility for the business as president, incorporating
13the company in 1893 and taking the company to new heights; he
14invested in steam-powered saws, drill presses, and a planning
15machine; he also erected a three-story factory that optimized
16the production process, allowed greater control in-house,
17standardized the wagons, and enabled workers to mass-produce
18parts; by the 1900s, the company's product lineup expanded to
19include freight wagons, merchandise "trucks", dump carts, log
20wagons, and a widened variety of farm wagons and "trucks"; and
21    WHEREAS, Under third generation owner Harold W. Knapheide,
22the company evolved with the times as gasoline-powered



SR0335- 2 -LRB103 32733 LAW 62518 r

1automobiles gained popularity and the need for wagons began to
2decline steeply; the business installed its first wooden wagon
3body on a Ford Model T chassis in 1910 and would continue to do
4so through the 1920s; the company was further impacted by the
51929 Stock Market Crash and the Great Depression, causing
6sales to dip to $14,083.65 in 1932; to keep afloat, the
7business accepted more repair work and sold equipment,
8including straw spreaders, dump bodies, washing machines, and
9parts; the company was renamed the Knapheide Manufacturing
10Company in 1937; and
11    WHEREAS, Harold W. "Bud" Knapheide Jr. joined his father
12in the business in 1938; as a self-taught engineer, he
13expanded and modernized manufacturing operations; by the
14mid-1940s, he had developed and produced all steel-frame truck
15bodies, and his innovative product line was targeted to the
16agricultural market through an expanded distribution network;
17in 1954, he opened a facility in West Quincy, Missouri to
18increase Knapheide's manufacturing and production capacity; by
191960, nearly every farmer in the Midwest knew the Knapheide
20name and the farming boom in the 1970s saw an even bigger
21increase in demand for truck bodies; during this time, the
22company was the largest producer of farm truck bodies in the
23country; and
24    WHEREAS, Harold W. "Knap" Knapheide, the fifth generation



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1owner, was tested early in his career; despite success through
2the company's all-steel agricultural product line, including
3grain bodies and livestock racks, the West Quincy facility was
4flooded by the nearby Mississippi River in 1973, proving quite
5costly; the business persisted through temporary facilities in
6Quincy, until total production was restored some 90 days later
7at the original location; Knap was made president in 1978, and
8he was noted for pioneering both targeted and creative
9marketing initiatives that led the company to great success;
10he was further tested when the agriculture market crashed in
11the 1980s, and then again when the West Quincy facility
12flooded a second time in 1993; despite these setbacks, Knap
13made a decision that had a profound impact on the company's
14future, constructing a new 480,000 square feet, state of the
15art truck manufacturing facility; since moving to the new
16facility, the business has continued to improve their customer
17service, manufacturing processes, design technology, team
18building, distribution networks, and product lines; and
19    WHEREAS, Harold W. "Bo" Knapheide IV, the sixth generation
20owner, took over Knapheide in 2018 with a focus on continued
21growth, expansion, and new markets; that same year, the
22company opened an additional manufacturing facility, dedicated
23to aluminum body production, just south of the company's
24headquarters; during his tenure, he has been instrumental in
25diversifying product offerings, including the Industrial



SR0335- 4 -LRB103 32733 LAW 62518 r

1Products line, while also encouraging the importance of
2customization; and
3    WHEREAS, Since 1848, Knapheide has provided customers with
4high quality, work-ready transportation solutions through
5determination, innovation, and family values, setting them
6apart as the industry leader; today, the company is North
7America's most popular manufacturer of work truck bodies and
8truck beds, with more work trucks on the road today with
9"Knapheide" stamped on them than any other manufacturer;
10therefore, be it
12ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, that we congratulate the
13Knapheide Manufacturing Company on the occasion of its 175th
14anniversary, and we wish the company continued success in the
15years to come; and be it further
16    RESOLVED, That a suitable copy of this resolution be
17presented to President and CEO Harold W. "Bo" Knapheide IV of
18Knapheide Manufacturing Company as an expression of our esteem
19and respect.