It was 1909. Henry Ford was using a new concept, the assembly line, to mass produce the Model T. George Pepperdine, age 23, was earning $15 a week as a bookkeeper at the Southside Garage in Kansas City. Pepperdine's vision was a retail store selling replacement auto parts. Operating from his kitchen, then a leased display window at a car dealership he promoted his business mainly through mail order. Four years later Pepperdine established his first store at 1426 Grand Avenue in Kansas City.
Then, due to health problems ( tuberculosis) Pepperdine moved to Denver and established his second store. Soon, on his doctors advice, he moved to Los Angeles. He retained the Denver store and sold the Kansas City store to Don Davis, a printing salesman who had printed the Western Auto catalogs since 1910.
Soon there were 12 stores and then more. Pepperdine, after losing his wife in the early 1930's sold his business interests and established Pepperdine University. Davis expanded his company which through franchises reached over 2000 stores. If you care to take a detailed look at the history of Western Auto, please reference, " The Last Western Flyer" , a wonderfully illustrated book by Dr. Jim Marchman. Dr. Marchman references many of the Western Auto brands as Western Flyer, Davis Tires, Wizard, Citation, and of course Truetone and Western Air Patrol. Please see my page on Western Auto radios to learn a little more about these
two name brands.