CLINTON — David Maxwell, owner of Walker Tire & Exhaust, Clinton, his wife Sandra and their son and daughter-in-law Wyatt and Jessica, celebrated Tuesday with employees and customers as their local business marked 35 years.
David opened his business in Clinton in 1984 on Illini Drive. The new business was a continuation of a family tradition that started in 1935 when David’s grandfather Claude Walker opened Walker Tire, in Farmer City.
During that time, in addition to helping customers, the business even had its own brush with greatness, when the well-known Negro League ball player Satchel Paige stopped in while he was on the road to have the tires on his car replaced. Paige was playing with the Globetrotter organization at the time.
David and his brother Philip expanded the family business when they opened their Clinton store, starting by selling and repairing tires as well as performing brake and exhaust work. Vehicle front-end work and wheel alignments were added as the business grew.
In 2009, the Clinton Walker’s was severely damaged by fire, but staff opened the doors for business the same day and were able to help customers with inventory not damaged by the fire.
David and Sandra are now sole owners of Clinton Walker Tire, and David is a co-owner of the Farmer City business.
Walker Tire, Clinton stays busy serving owners of passenger cars up to farm vehicles.