Watertown, N.Y. — A more than 100-year-old farm and water treatment equipment dealership will trade hands in early January and continue operations.
Duane C. Lehman and William C. Schindler decided to sell W. H. Bisnett Inc., 1870 State St., to another local businessman so they could retire at the age of 65, Mr. Lehman said. The business will have a new name, Bisnetts of Watertown, Mr. Lehman said, but their one longtime employee will remain with the shop.
Mr. Lehman and Mr. Schindler have participated in the business for 45 years and became sole owners after Mr. Lehman’s father, Myron “Mike” M. Lehman, died in 1992. While he looks forward to retiring, Mr. Lehman said he will miss his customers.
“Our customer base here has always been regular customers,” he said. “Ninety percent of the people who walk in here, you call them by their first name.”
The new owner, Neil Katzman, president of SWBG Wholesale Inc., said he will take over the shop in the first week of January and plans to make no changes to its sales and service.
Mr. Katzman said he learned the two longtime co-owners planned to retire and expressed interest in acquiring the shop.
“I wanted a retail store and thought it was a good opportunity ... to keep a 100-year-old business going,” he said. “It’s an opportunity to continue growing.”
Frederick R. Bisnett first opened the business in 1905 and ran it until his son, Walter H. Bisnett, took it over in 1925. John P. Constable, Walter Bisnett’s son-in-law, assumed ownership in 1945, then sold it to Myron Lehman in 1973.
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