Folks in this area have been dealing with a Shepherd for nearly 85 years. Earnest Shepherd began the family tradition by trading cars on the farm in Clay County, Missouri in 1913. In 1927 he decided to move his business a little over ten miles to North Kansas City, a town of only 1,000 people. At that time, he sold Pontiac automobiles. 1931 brought a change to the Shepherd car dealership when Earnest made the switch to Chrysler-Plymouth. Just about that time, his nephew, I. R. Shepherd, started working there with him. Twelve years later, plagued with poor health, I. R. Shepherd had to leave the area for California. This posed his son, Ray (who also worked at the Dealership with Uncle Earnest) with a dilemma of sorts. Would he and his wife, Mary, stay and work with Uncle Earnest, go with Dad to California, or strike out and start a dealership of their own in the Midwest! They decided to reach for the "American Dream" and bought a small dealership in Ash Grove, Missouri (a little town outside of Springfield). Four years later, they took the chance to move to Fort Scott and to this day are "most pleased with that decision," says Ray.
1953 saw the first car dealership in the nation carrying complete lines of two competing motor company's cars at the same location, and it was right here in Fort Scott, Kansas. Ray Shepherd Motors was doing something that was unheard of at the time, but it gave the customer a chance to get a good look at both lines without having to go elsewhere. They could compare them side by side and people liked it. This unique approach to letting the custo