Kammeyer Electric closes doors at the beginning of 70th year

Wednesday, March 6, 2019
Eddie (left) and Terry Kammeyer closed the doors to Kammeyer Electric, in Concordia, on Jan. 1, 2019, the beginning of the company’s 70th year in business. The business was started in 1950 by the brothers’ father, Raymond Kammeyer, and his brother Omar.
Bob Stewart/The Concordian

Brothers Raymond and Omar Kammeyer established Kammeyer Electric, in Concordia, on Jan. 1, 1950. On Jan. 1, 2019, brothers Eddie and Terry Kammeyer, sons of founder Raymond, closed the doors to the business for the last time.

The brothers became part of the business when Omar Kammeyer sold 50 percent of the business to them in 1972. In 1989, when Raymond reached the age of 65, he sold the remaining 50 percent to them.

“Folks have asked us why we’re giving up the business,” Terry said. “I’m 70 years old, and Eddie is 66. The work is getting harder, and maybe patience is getting shorter.”

Over the years, the company has wired schools, grain bins on farms, factories and houses in the Concordia area. They also electrified grain elevators in the area, at one time servicing 17 grain elevators locally. In addition, they have done work all over the state of Missouri, even working in Iowa and Arkansas.

“Our customers have been our greatest asset,” Eddie said. “Without our loyal customers we wouldn’t have had the success we have enjoyed. We hope our past customers will continue to support electricians in the area.”

Terry echoed the sentiment.

“We’ve had great customers. We’ve been able to maintain a good reputation, as well,” Terry said. “We’ve always done very little advertising, because our customers just always coming back.”

Both Eddie and Terry said they have always done whatever they had to do to stay in business, and they are proud of the fact that — though they have paid into unemployment insurance for 50 years or more — they have never had to use it.

“We’ve never had to lay anyone off,” Eddie said. “And we’ve always had great employees through the years. We definitely couldn’t have done it without the employees.”

Terry spoke with respect about the founders of the company.

“Our dad, Raymond, and his brother Omar had some tough times when they started this business in 1950,” he said. “Those were some drought years, some down years, when there was just no business to speak of and times were tough. They said in 1953 it got so bad that one of the brothers went to Whiteman Air Force Base to try to get a job. Nothing was available, so he decided to keep working at the electric business. Things turned around, and even when the base called to offer him a job, everything was going well enough he didn’t take the job.”

Eddie also thanked the founders for their steadfastness in keeping the business going through hard time.

“Terry and I took over an established business,” he said. “I have to give credit to Dad and Omar for getting it started and keeping it going.”

The brothers said they had tried to sell the business for a while now, and have had success. They have been liquidating their stock since the beginning of 2019, and will be hosting an auction on April 4.

“The auction on April 4 will be a complete liquidation of tools, trucks, lifts — everything,” Eddie said. “The auction will be conducted by Wheeler Auction Services of Paris, Mo.

The business is located at 303 SW 8th Street in Concordia.

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