Bill and Pat Crabtree originated the Illinois Big R Stores in 1964 opening the first store in Watseka, Illinois. To date 21 stores have been opened in Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.
We have 11 stores in Illinois including Watseka, Gibson City, Danville, Tilton, Pontiac, Morris, Washington, Rochelle, Pekin, Homer Glen and McHenry. Our 8 Indiana stores include Warsaw, Wabash, Crawfordsville, Michigan City, Elkhart, North Elkhart, Marion and Rochester. We recently expanded to Northwest Ohio, adding 2 new stores in Lima and Findlay.
The offices and warehouses for Big R remain in Watseka, IL. Joining the company in 1973, Jerry Gibbs provides family leadership for the company with new generations of the Crabtree family continuing to participate in the business.
Farm and Ranch store owners in the western states started the Big R brand name; they chose the name "Big R" to convey the "Ranch" identity. The Big R group is now comprised of 12 independent owners with store locations throughout the U.S. They all are members of Mid-States Distributing Company of St. Paul, MN. The Mid-States Coop has over 600 stores throughout the United States and Canada.