In 1950, a couple of small town brothers, Pete and Rex Barton, opened a gas station/repair shop. It featured two full-service in-ground Skelly gas pumps. A few years later Rex decided to leave the body shop business and sold his half to his brother Pete.
An addition was made to the south-eastern side of the shop in 1965. The latest in Bear brake and alignment equipment was also installed. Then in the 1980's Pete sold the business to his son Gary Barton. The shop continued to grow and more shop hands were added.
When Gary retired in 2003, the shop was handed over to Ed Schultz. With 29 years of service at the time, Ed took the shop into his own hands. Keeping the last name of the old owners as the name of the shop and continuing their tradition of quality service, the returning customers knew the new owner would run his business with the ethics and morals learned in a small mid-western village.
So why the yellow bear?
When Pete added the southern addition and equipped the shop with Bear Safety Service tools manufactured in Rock Island, he began advertising the product name. People liked the Bear logo so much it became an image of familiarity. When people thought of Barton's Body Shop, the image of the friendly yellow bear came to mind. Since then it has became a tradition for the yellow bear to be seen anywhere the Barton's Body Shop logo is represented.
Happy Bear Logo © GSLE Subco, LLC.