Viets Motor Company
The Viets Motor Company was created on July 4, 1927, when F. H. Humason sold Humason Ford garage to H. L. Viets and Leon L. Rogers. The business was located on the north side of Warren-Sharon Road, east of Vienna Center.
At the time of the company's founding H. L. Viets was the service manager at D. E. Miller and Son's Ford agency in Warren, Ohio. After purchasing the Humason business in Vienna, Viets and Rogers contracted, in May 1928, with the Chevrolet Motors Division.
In 1929, Viets bought Rogers' interest in the garage, the building, and the lot. Around 1938 Viets bought the Old Stage Coach Inn (where F. H. Humason and his wife were living) and two acres of land adjoining the property.
In 1941, Viets doubled the size of the shop, paneled the showroom and offices, and installed two restrooms. In 1950 he constructed a five-bay body shop.
H. L. Viets retired in 1958. His son, Robert L. Viets, continued in the business, and in 1965 younger son A. Ronald Viets entered the business. In 1978, A. Ronald Viets purchased a Chevrolet agency in Fredericktown, Ohio, and left Vienna.
The third generation of the Viets family entered into the business in August 1985, when Robert L.'s son, Roger L. Viets, became the dealer. Following a massive stroke at the age of 44, Roger was forced to sell the business to Mark Taylor of Austintown, Ohio, on June 10, 1993.
Vera Viets Burns's Memories
Vera Viets Burns, the daughter of H. L. Viets, recalled these memories in 1999:
Waking up in the middle of the night and thinking our house was on fire, when it really was the reflection of Medley's Restaurant, across the street, that was on fire. My father had called the Warren Fire (at a cost of $75). Men worked to remove the cars trapped inside the garage. As the garage roof and window frames were burning, the men pushed John Sheridan's car and three other cars out between the two burning buildings. Medley's famous restaurant was complete destroyed by fire, but the garage was saved, with damage only to the roof and the wooden window frames.
Hiding the new cars in our barn before Announcement Day, so no one could see them until they day they were to be shown.
During the 1930s the garage was robbed many times. Guns and watchdogs were always kept close at hand. One day we found our watchdog missing and the next day the garage was burglarized.
Clarence "Fat" Boyd was a long-time mechanic at the garage. He always drove over in the evenings to check the garage when my folks were away. He always seemed like a part of our family. George Moore and Milton Mackey were also excellent mechanics, I remember.
My father didn't really believe in advertising his business. He believed word-of-mouth was the best method.
I think the garage always had a gumball machine and penny peanut dispenser.
We spent a lot of time decorating cars for the Home Day parade.