Otto's Automobiles: A brief prelude and history of Scherer's Springfield Buick
Our tagline "Scherer's Springfield Buick, since 1949," is impressive enough on its own; however the foundations of Springfield Buick were laid much earlier. The history of the Motors dates all the way back to the dawn of the automotive age in the United States!
So let's travel back in time and place to southern Wisconsin, where Otto Scherer began his career as a car, bicycle, buggy, and farm equipment salesman. According to the Wisconsin Historical Society, "Otto Scherer was a hustler, but in the finest sense of the word." Otto had been born on a pioneer farm in 1872, and by the turn of the century, had settled in Palmyra, Wisconsin with a wife and two boys. Sadly, his first wife passed away, and Otto remarried and had four more children. In Palmyra, Otto soon came into contact with the founders of GM, who encouraged him to sell Buicks. Also, Otto was a frequent guest of David Dunbar Buick, the man who started the Buick car company, at the various endurance car races held between 1908 and 1912. The car driver at these races for the Buicks was none other than Louis Chevrolet himself!
These connections and Otto's reputation as a salesman helped catapult him into the auto industry. He had opened what was most likely the first auto showroom of Southern Wisconsin in 1904; and soon enough, the whole main floor was devoted to Buicks and buggies, while the upper floor housed dental offices and an opera house. Otto was a super salesman, one who broke all sales records for Wisconsin. When he died in 1921, Otto left behind a thriving business, a philanthropic legacy, and a large family.
After Otto's death, his first two sons, Howard and Gerald, took over the Scherer transportation business. Howard and Gerald migrated west to Medford, Oregon in 1928, spreading their father's business across the nation. Within months, Gerald left Medford, and with the help of a prominent physician, started the first Buick dealership in Eugene. There, in August of 1928, Scherer Buick City was established and remained until it was sold in 1963.
When Howard and Gerald left Palmyra, they left Otto Scherer's family and also left the family without a dealership. Clarence, Otto's youngest son, grew up with only fond stories of his father and his Buick dealership. After high school, Clarence graduated from Northwestern University with a masters degree in accounting, joined the US Coast Guard during the war, and eventually settled in Seattle working for the IRS.
As fate would have it, Gerald Scherer learned of Clarence living in Seattle and persuaded him to come to Eugene in 1947, to work at Scherer Buick City. Clarence soon opened up his own car dealership in Springfield on Main Street. This new dealership, Springfield Buick, was formally dedicated at its present location in April, 1949. Clarence's business selling Buicks grew and prospered, and Clarence himself was involved with his business until his death in 1995. Since 1987 however, Clarence's eldest son, Robert Scherer, has been the principal dealer of Springfield Buick, and with his employees, is proud to continue his family's legacy in the automobile industry.
In more recent history, Springfield Buick has won multiple awards from General Motors for Buick sales and customer satisfaction. Most recently, in 2011, the 65 year old building housing Springfield Buick was put on the National Historic Register. Automobiles have sure changed since Otto's time, through Clarence's, and up to Robert's, and Springfield Buick is happy to go into the future proudly serving the community with quality service, customer satisfaction, and vehicle sales.