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Luscombe dies at 86

By Staff | Apr 1, 2008

Arthur J. Luscombe, founder of Art’s-Way Manufacturing Co., Inc., died Saturday at St. Rose Dominican Hospitals in Las Vegas, Nev.

After trying his hand at farming and running grocery stores and theaters, Luscombe, a Dolliver native founded Art’s-Way in 1956 when he put his first grinder-mixer on the market.

Luscombe started the company in downtown Armstrong and moved to the present location on West Highway 9 in 1959.

Art’s-Way bought Silamix, a chain mix feed wagon maker, in 1966 then in the early 1980s the Sunmaster product line from Rotech of Olathe, Kan. That acquisition brought a line of mowers, cutters, and shredders to the company.

Luscombe saw the company grow to several hundred employees. He divested a majority of his stock but stayed on to lead the company until 1975.

Luscombe’s accomplishments during his lifetime are formidable. Armstrong Rim and Wheel is now GKN Armstrong Wheel in Armstrong and Estherville. For a time Luscombe also owned Weigh-Tronix, now located in Fairmont, Minn.

“It certainly is a very somber day here today as everybody is finding out about it,” said Art’s-Way President Carrie Majeski Monday. “He will certainly be missed.”

Luscombe, who founded his company with a high-school diploma, prided himself on knowing every aspect of the company at every level.

“I taught them all — salesmen and everything,” Luscombe said shortly before he joined in on the company’s 50th anniversary in 2006.

Once finding itself fighting keen competition, Art’s-Way quite literally outlasted the competition to remain the last one standing.

“They’re all closed up now,” Luscombe said of Art’s-Way’s competitors. “Even the big ones aren’t open anymore. We’re all alone now.”

Luscombe was preceded in death by his wife, Elvina, in 2003. His has two sons, Terry Luscombe and his wife, Donna, of Armstrong and Gene Luscombe and his wife, Carmen, of Sherman, Texas.

Funeral services will be held 10:30 a.m., Monday, April 7 at Nazareth Lutheran Church in Armstrong.