Witt Ford sponsors county’s 344th barn quilt


Photo Caption (Photo by Jim Leuenberger) Joe Witt, co-owner of Witt Family Ford, is shown with Shawano County’s 344th barn quilt that is displayed on a barn adjacent to their dealership at W1367 highway 160 near Pulaski.

Shawano County’s 344th barn quilt is now on display on a barn located adjacent to the Witt Family Ford dealership at W1367 State Highway 160, just off highway 29 near Pulaski. The quilt pattern, which features a “W” in the center, is called Triangles of Blue.

The original owner of the farm where the barn stands was Edward Jach. He sold the farm to Stanislaus and Weronika Homel in 1912 and it stayed in the Homel family as a dairy farm until 1986. Ludwig and Katie Homel owned the farm until 1946 when they sold it to Anton and Dorothy Homel.

The farm left the Homel family when it was purchased by Warren and Cheryl Werner in 1986. They owned it for five years before selling it to Jeffrey and Carolynn Lehndorf. The Lehndorfs farmed 53 acres and milked 25 cows there before deciding to sell the farm when the highway 29 expansion was being planned. They relocated to county highway S, where they own two farms totaling 714 acres. They also rent 1,500 acres and milk 200 Holstein cows. They have a barn quilt on each farm as well.

The Witt family purchased 15 acres of the property in 2014, which included the barn and two silos. They had purchased VandenBrook Ford in Bonduel in 2013 and moved the dealership to their present location in June 2015.

Witt Auto Sales was established in 1945 by Al and Ellen Witt. They had four sons, Pat, Mike, Ed and Bill. Pat and Mike stayed in the business and now their sons are the principal owners. Dan and Joe, Mike’s sons, are well known throughout northeast Wisconsin for their clever television ads. Dan, and his cousin Tom (Pat’s son), are mainly at their Crivitz location while Joe spends most of his time in the Pulaski location.

Witt Family Ford has over 60 employees and is an integral part of the Marinette, Pulaski and other northeast Wisconsin communities.

“Once we decided to keep the barn, we thought about getting a barn quilt for it but wanted to get the barn painted first,” Joe Witt said. The barn was painted this fall, after which Joe contacted Jim Leuenberger, project coordinator for the Shawano County barn quilt project. The pattern was finalized, the quilt painted by the barn quilt committee and then put on display by LeRoy and Keith Raddant of Raddant Electric in Shawano. “The quilt looks very nice,” Joe Witt said, “and we are very happy to be part of the Shawano County barn quilt project.”