Bill and Pat Crabtree originated the Illinois Big R Stores in 1964. The first store opened in Watseka, Illinois. To date 18 stores have been opened in central Illinois and northern Indiana.
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 now provides family leadership for the company. New generations of the Crabtree family continue 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 a growing 75 + stores 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.