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Mister Goodloe and the First Fifty Years

Mister Goodloe and his wife, Charm. Every year Charm would invite all the ladies of Yancey Bros. Co. to the house for tea.

Years before he wrote the novel Sharky’s Machine, William Diehl was a freelance journalist and executive editor of Track Tales, the Yancey Bros. Co. publication. In 1964 on the occasion of the company’s fiftieth anniversary and its founder’s eightieth birthday, Diehl wrote this profile of Goodloe H. Yancey Jr.

With time-clock regularity one morning last month, Mister Goodloe Yancey strode across the large display room to his office in the corner, greeting half a dozen employees by their first names along the way, peeled off his coat, worked a Lucky Strike cigarette into the black and gold holder which has become his personal trademark and, after lighting it up, settled back to read his morning mail. During the course of the morning he had business chats with several company officials, answered several letters, and on five different occasions stepped out into the show room to exchange first-name greetings with customers. It was a regular morning for Mister Goodloe, like any other morning in the year. Only one thing made it different. On this particular day he was celebrating his birthday.

Outside, on the same morning, the finishing touches were being put on the fiftieth anniversary celebration of the company. Mister Goodloe, who admits to being forty-one going on thirty-nine, and Yancey Bros. Co., which is fifty, are both going strong.

In eighty-three counties in north Georgia, roughly half of the largest state east of the Mississippi, Yancey Bros. Co. handles sales and service for the Caterpillar Tractor Co. It is one of the largest of the Caterpillar Dealers that dot the U.S. and the free world and has been one of its most cherished Dealers since it became the first company to distribute road machinery in Georgia in 1919….

The success of Yancey Bros. Co. reflects the grit of its founder, Mister Goodloe, and his successor, Don Yancey, who became president in 1958. Mister Goodloe is one of Caterpillar’s greatest boosters. Many customers identify him with the big tractors so strongly that they think he makes them. And he has helped more than one young contractor on his way. He once gave a former employee a used D6 tractor to get him started and six years later sold him $100,000 worth of equipment.

When the mood strikes him, Mister Goodloe can also reflect on a half-century of progress, for his company has supplied equipment to the biggest contractors in the state and has played a leading role in the growth of Georgia. …

Georgia today is the center of a booming southern economy, and Yancey Bros. Co. is playing its customary role in that boom.

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