From Warren Scott at the Herald-Star:
John and Kim Neidengard said preparing for the Feb. 27 closing of their 115-year-old family business is a bittersweet experience.
After selling Harley-Davidson motorcycles and related gear to hundreds of area residents, they are looking forward to spending more time riding together on the road and visiting their adult children and grandchildren.
But the couple of 23 years said they will miss seeing their regular customers, working with others to organize poker runs that have raised thousands for charity and carrying on a legacy culminating in the state’s oldest family-owned Harley-Davidson dealership.
Kim admitted she became a motorcycle fan after meeting John 28 years ago, noting his love of cycling started at an early age.
“I worked here probably since I was 12,” said John, who noted it was common for children in family-run businesses to help out “as soon as you were old enough.” As soon as I graduated from high school, I went to full time,” he said, adding he never thought of doing anything else.
John said in that regard, he was much like his father, John F., who had worked for his father, G.H. Neidengard, a machinist who opened the family’s first motorcycle shop at 137 South Third, Steubenville.
John said G.H. was a friend of the first Steubenville man to own a motorcycle and quickly fell in love with them. Early motorcycles were little more than bicycles with motors, noted John, but they offered low-cost transportation at a time before Henry Ford’s Model T made automobiles affordable to most people.
The Chamber would like to extend its sincere appreciation to the Neidengards for their many years of support and for representing the Jefferson County business community with passion, professionalism and care. They will be missed and remembered.