Henry Apple was a pioneer. Not in the sense of crossing
the country in a covered wagon to homestead new land, but
in creating new ways of thinking about farming. Even as
a teenager, living in the days of horse versus machine,
Henry was inventing new and better ways of helping the farmer
be more productive and earn a better income from his land.
Henry's father Alfred was a thresher, so Henry came by
his love of farming naturally. Growing up in the lush farmlands
of west-central Ohio, Henry soon began to influence other
farmers and farming methods throughout the State, and into
eastern Indiana. He was a natural born leader with a gift
for invention, and an ability to make others see that his
"new fangled" ideas and innovative ways were good,
progressive and beneficial.
In the mid-'50s, Henry created a design to make a better
forage harvester. He used a Continental Engine, parts taken
from a WWII Tank half-track, a Massey Harris 101 rear end,
a Chevrolet steering axle, and a Gehl FH84 with TR83 two-row
corn attachment - the beginning of self-propelled harvesters
that are common today but not seen in the mid century. His
children remember him "driving his masterpiece out
of the barn and somebody from the newspaper came and took
a picture of it."
Soon, other farmers, curious about the new machine, began
to gather at the Apple place to see what Henry was up to.
The young farmer/inventor not only drew publicity, he captured
the imaginations and respect of other farmers, because Henry
was making life better and work more efficient for these
dedicated men and women whose lives depended on coaxing
crops from the land.
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The Gehl Company offered Henry a dealership in 1955, and
a new business was born. Always the inventor and the innovator,
Henry Apple influenced not only the farm community, but
he also inspired his family to do more, to do better, for
the farmers who lived and worked in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky
and Michigan - and beyond. From a small shop on Henry's
farm, originally known as "Apple Chopper Service,"
the business has grown to its two current locations in Covington
and Botkins. The company now stocks parts and farm equipment from more than 100 manufacturers, all chosen for their quality
and innovation - the same hallmarks that drove Henry throughout
Henry passed away in 1996, but over the years, Apple's
size, reputation and strength in the community have grown
Today, the proverbial "Apple" has not fallen
far from the tree. Henry's son Bill is the company's President
and CEO, while his wife Linda is heavily involved in the office. Their son, Matt, joined the Sales Team on a full-time basis in 2011. Joan, Henry and Ina's daughter is the Botkins location
Office Manager, involved in Marketing. They each
continue the tradition and the beliefs of Henry in making
Apple Farm Service a family-run, customer-focused company
that deals with quality products, excellent service and
parts professionalism - dedication to making life, and life's
work, run a little more smoothly.
Apple is the son of founder Henry Apple and his wife
Ina. His early work experience with the family business
was in delivery and service. He joined the business full
time in 1972 and became President and CEO in 1996 after
the death of his father. Bill grew up on the family dairy
farm, and learned his business sense, sales discernment
and philosophy of caring from his parents, who set the example
for the company vision and direction. After attending Muskingham
College in Cambridge, Ohio, he learned sales in the agricultural
implement business by working alongside the best - his father.
Through the years, Bill has upgraded his skills by attending
numerous service, sales and management training courses
provided by many of Apple's manufacturers.
Bill opened the Botkins satellite store in 1985, significantly
expanding the family business. Since 1994, he has ensured
that both Apple locations meet the "Highest Standards
of Excellence" required by each of the company's manufacturers.
Because the company has attained these standards, Apple
is able to buy at greater discounts and pass along the savings
to our customers - a key component in Apple's strength and
Bill has served on various Agricultural Councils, including
New Holland Regional and National Dealer Councils, the Gehl
Dealer Council, and others. He is a respected member of
the North American Equipment Dealers Association (NAEDA)
and the Ohio and Michigan Equipment Dealers Association
(OMEDA), and has served on various OMEDA Committees. Bill
and his wife Linda have three children.
Joan Clingerman is the daughter
of founder Henry Apple and his wife Ina. She began her career
in the family business in 1998, accepting the role of Office
Manager. Joan attended
Urbana University, and spent four years training with the
New Tribes Mission. In 1980, she and her family left the
area, serving for 18 years in Senegal, West Africa, in a tribal ministry.
Previously, she held the position of administrative secretary
for a local hospital, and worked in a physician's office.
Joan and her husband live in Bellefontaine, Ohio. They have
four children and twelve grandchildren.