Benjamin Franklin Avery, founder of BF Avery & Sons, made his first plow in a little blacksmith shop in Clarksville, Virginia, in the year 1825. Even the, at the age of twenty-four he had ventured far and alone from his birthplace at Aurora, New York. The courage of his youth and fire of his enthusiasm were by no means the least ingredients that went to make up the first Avery plow and throughout the long and useful span of his life, rugged, unbending integrity and a will that knew no faltering marked the splendid course of his career.
BF Avery died in 1885 at the age of eighty-four. Behind him he left a monument to his energy and integrity that any mortal might well be proud to leave. But more than the splendid BF Avery factory and organization, more than the grateful good will of millions of farmers, BF Avery left behind him those glorious principles, the imprint of his inspiring personality, which will be carried on so long as BF Avery men shall manufacture and distribute BF Avery products.
Samuel L. Avery, eldest son of BF Avery, succeeded his father to the Presidency upon his death in 1885. Due to the size to which the organization had grown, it had been incorporated in 1877, but for many years prior to that time it had been operated as a partnership under the name of BF Avery & Sons. As a member of this partnership Samuel L. Avery worked side by side with his father and when it fell his lot to take charge he needed no further experience than that which he had gained in his close association with the venerable founder BF Avery. Quiet, dignified and kindly, Samuel L Avery exemplified in every action the spirit and the principles of his father
He in his turn was beloved as a leader in his community, as head of a family and as chief officer of a great industrial enterprise.
George Capwell Avery, second son of BF Avery, succeeded to the Presidency upon the retirement of his brother. The brilliance of his administration was enhanced by the steadfastness of his purpose and strict adherence to the principles upon which the House of Avery had been founded. At the close of his term of leadership came the completion and occupation of the new factory, the dream of his youth, the labor of his manhood and the crowning glory of his career.
George C. Avery was a leader from the beginning. In his presence there was never a doubt as to where the authority lay. But throughout his term of office there was ever before him the spirit of his father’s faith and those who grew up around him have been in the same way imbued with motto of the Patriarch, “To build well – to deal square”.
With the death of George C. Avery in 1911 there came to a close that chapter in the history of the business in which the BF Avery family took active part in its management. But in the BF Avery organization there were then , as there are now, able men whose business training had found its beginning and its completion in the pursuit of the principles and ideals of the founder. Charles F. Huhlein, then Vice-President and General Manager of the Company and in his twenty-second year of active connection with BF Avery, was, upon the death of Mr. Avery, elected to the Presidency. For eight years he filled this position, when in 1920 he was elected to the Chairmanship of the Board of Directors and Mr. William Black, then in his twenty-sixth year with the BF Avery Company, was elected to succeed him as President.
When, in 1925, the century mark was reached, despite wars, panics and periods of general distress, the Company had continued always in successful operation and had at ll times paid 100 cents on the dollar. There were on the pay roll of the company men whose connection with BF Avery had begun during Benjamin Franklin Avery’s administration, men whose early training had been given under the guidance of “Sam” and “George” and scores whose business life from the beginning had been modeled on the principles which have made possible the shining history that is BF Avery.
The House of BF Avery had kept abreast of the times. New creations of business and of science have been adopted and developed as they have made their appearance in the field of agricultural engineering. New methods have replace the old ones, young men have stepped into the offices vacated by their forerunners but always, after ability and integrity have been proven without doubt, the final test of the fitness of an BF Avery man is his constant and unflinching adherence to the fundamentals upon which the House of BF Avery has so firmly stood for more than one hundred years.
(Source – First Catalog after 100th Anniversary)