History of Harris-Crane
At an American Feed Manufacturers Convention in 1952, David W. Harris met with a number of buyers and suppliers who were not very pleased with the service that they were receiving from other brokerage firms. In the meeting, they suggested to Mr. Harris that he team up with John J. Crane and become partners in the grain brokerage business. Mr. Harris said that while the idea sparked interest, he was sure that Mr. Crane was happy where he was employed. In reality, John Crane was planning to move back to Cincinnati, Ohio because he was not content with his situation. After hearing of John’s predicament, David decided to contact him upon his return to Charlotte, North Carolina.
The two decided to meet at Mr. Crane’s house on a Sunday afternoon. They sat down with a legal pad and began listing buyers and sellers that they felt they could bring with them from various ends of the grain market. By the end of the meeting, both men were excited about the prospect of working with each other and decided they would become partners and form their own company.
“It was slow going for a little while,” Mr. Harris said. Suppliers that the two thought would be the most eager to do business weren’t and it wasn’t easy. With hard work and determination, however, Harris-Crane earned the business of a few big clients who spread the word of their ability to get information to customers before anyone else knew about it. Customers respected and valued the type of service Harris-Crane supplied. “It is as important to service people as it is to sell them,” Mr. Harris reflected on one of Harris-Crane’s original goals. “The sale isn’t complete until delivery is made."
It was this commitment to service that established Harris-Crane as a leader. It is still the reason that so many clients look to us in the agriculture business. We provide service and information that no one else can or has the ability to access. It is for this reason that Harris-Crane has remained relatively unchanged since the 1950’s. The names and faces are different but the business model and sheer determination of our employees to provide service to our markets has not changed and never will.
Top Left: Portrait of Mr. Harris (Frank Morris)
Top Right: Portrait of Mr. Crane (Frank Morris)
Bottom Right: Picture from Charlotte Observer announcing opening of Harris-Crane (1952)