Larry Schaff, 1984

Born in Urbana in 1896 Larry Schaff has lived all of his life in Champaign County. His father was a farmer in Urbana Township and Mr. Schaff himself did some farming. Even in retirement, he took an active interest in the running of the family farm and business. For many years he was an implement dealer and most vividly recalled the conversion from horse-drawn machinery to tractors. "Had to do it all at once. Had to sell horses and equipment, and bring in tractors practically the same day," he remembered in 1984. He earned a reputation as a fair businessman as an implement dealer in Champaign County, notably during World War II when there was a shortage of farm machinery and parts. He refused special favors and maintained a policy of first come, first served. He also extended credit to farmers, in at least one case saving a farmer from
bankruptcy. Always fond of children, he used to keep candy and Coke on hand for them in his store. "I always liked tractor pulls," he says. "That was always a big deal. Even today. We're getting a piece of equipment ready for the State Fair." Otherwise he says, "I had very few hobbies which is a handicap now. Old age is not so bad," but he dreaded the thought of being useless or a burden.

Source: Raymond Bial, There is a Season, Champaign County Nursing Home, 1984.