Tuttle Motor Company was founded in 1933 by two brothers, Dwight and George Tuttle. After a few years, George left the company and went to work for the International Harvester district office in San Antonio, Texas. Poteet was close to the San Antonio area and vegetable and strawberry farming was a booming business. Dwight saw this opportunity, and acquired the International Harvester contract for farm equipment, tractors, and trucks in December of 1934. When he sold his first tractor, he traded for a team of mules. This trading continued until local merchants thought he would go broke. They didn’t know that the way he traded for the mules, he had no money invested in them and was able to sell them at a nice profit. Later in the decade, he expanded Tuttle Motor Company’s offering by taking on Chrysler and Desoto automobiles.
During this time, Eldon Tuttle, Sr., Dwight’s nephew, worked off and on as a tractor mechanic. Eldon eventually opened up his own shop next door to Tuttle Motor Company. In 1954, Dwight and Eldon Sr. merged their businesses into Tuttle Motor Company and incorporated it. Dwight Tuttle passed away in 1972 and Eldon Tuttle Sr., purchased the remainder of the business from Dwight’s wife, AEolia. Eldon Tuttle, Jr. began working in the family business at the age of 14 during summers. He has been involved in the business for over four decades with the exception of a four year stint at Texas A&I University in Kingsville where he received a finance degree in 1975. In 1979, Eldon Tuttle Sr. retired and Eldon Tuttle Jr. became the owner of Tuttle Motor Company at the age of 27.
For many years, the area farmers prospered growing peanuts and Tuttle Motor Company shared in their prosperity. But Eldon Tuttle, Jr. sensed a change was coming and acquired Kuhn hay equipment and took on Polaris ATVs. He sold the Chrysler franchise in 1985 and replaced it with a hardware store under the same roof. At this point, he changed the name of the company to Tuttle Motor & Hardware. In the early 1990s, the government peanut program was phased out and almost all area farmers quit growing peanuts. He acquired ranch and feed equipment to cater to cattle feeding and the growing trend of wildlife ranchers buying up the local farms. Over the years, Tuttle Motor & Hardware has acquired an extensive line of equipment suited for its South Texas customers. This includes equipment from Case IH, Kuhn Knight, Rhino, Bush Hog, Aerway, Athens, Westendorf, Haybusters, Great Plains, Steffen Systems, Cub Cadet, Yanmar, and STIHL.