White Star 209-213 N. St. Francis – 1915
1910 – Founded by Albert C. Rynders to construct and equip grain elevators along the railroads in western Kansas. White Star was located in Wichita at 145 N. Emporia and then moved to 209-213 N. St. Francis in 1915.
1930’s- New elevators were rare in the dust bowl 30’s, but Rynders survived by selling elevator parts and supplies. He sold the business to Omaha interests and retired in 1942.
1944 – Russ Clark, a wire rope sales engineer, came to White Star as General Manager and two years later purchased the company. He continued the transition to industrial tools and supplies, and added construction equipment.
1945 – White Star moved to the corner of 301 N. St. Francis, and in 1959 moved to 720 E. 10th Street.
1962 – Clark fell on ill health and sold the company to the Berry family. White Star became a division of Berry Companies Inc. The company specialized in construction equipment and supplies, including cranes, loaders, excavators, concrete and compaction equipment.
1965 – White Star became one of the first distributors of the Melroe Bobcat skid-steer loader. White Star continues to distribute the loaders, excavators and attachments today.
1966 – The first White Star branch was opened in Topeka at 600 W. Gordon. It moved to 430 W. 1st in 1969.
1968 – White Star opened in Tulsa, at 3900 S Memorial, primarily for the sale of Bobcat loaders. They moved to 428 S. 122 E. Ave. in 1973, and then in 1994 to the current location at 5401 S. Mingo Rd.
1978 – White Star acquired King and East Machinery Co. in Denver and entered the Colorado market. That business has grown and is now a separate division of Berry Companies known as Bobcat of the Rockies, with 8 locations.
1980 – A new facility headquarters was built in Wichita at 3223 N. Hydraulic. White Star started sharing a facility with Berry Tractor and Co., in Garden City, at 3030 W. Jones. (1994).
1983 – John Engels was named President of White Star. Sunflower Supply located at 1831 Southwest Boulevard in Wichita was acquired and became a division of White Star. They moved to 1815 Southwest Blvd in 1984 and to 818 W. Douglas in 1988.
1992 – White Star acquired R & K Supply Co. in Topeka and consolidated Topeka operations at 121 NE Gordon.
2000 – Completes 90 years in business, having survived two world wars, the great depression and the many business cycles of the 20th Century.
2007 – White Star acquired Construction Equipment Sales & Service and created the White Star Machinery branch in Manhattan.
2010 – White Star celebrates 100 years in the construction equipment business!