REXX BATTERY HISTORY
Rex Curtsinger (founder of Rexx Battery Co.) has been in the battery business as an owner / operator since 1959.
1959: Rex Curtsinger learned that batteries could be rebuilt or repaired when he was in need of a battery for himself - with little funds to pay for it. Rex learned the basic structure of batteries and started a business replacing lead plates in tar top batteries to support his young family. He went on to start a business with his cousin, Dale Schawitsch, in Decatur, Il. This new company was named D&R Battery. In the beginning they sold only rebuilt batteries, but as business grew they added a line of new batteries. The business grew and prospered.
1965: Rex and his wife Carol sold their half of the D&R Battery to Dale and moved their family (now 2 daughters) to Rochester Il – 6 miles east of Springfield. At this tme Rex and Carol bought half of a battery rebuilding business called Ed’s Battery Shop. Ed Alsop, Rex’s brother-in-law and partner, had learned the battery rebuilding craft at D&R Battery Co. in Decatur, IL. Ed’s Battery Shop added new batteries and at a later date the name was changed to Springfield Battery Co.
1970: Rex and Carol sold their share of Springfield Battery back to Ed and Fran Alsop. Rex went on to build a wholesale business managed from a large garage at his home in Rochester IL. Carol named this business Rexx Battery Co.
1975: Carol Curtsinger joined her husband, Rex, working full time. She took over running the Wholesale business and routes – now moved from their garage to a small building on Main St. in Rochester IL. Rex concentrated on building retail stores in surrounding towns – to boost their sales and buying power.
1978: Tracee Curtsinger, Rex and Carol’s oldest daughter, started with the company, helping Carol with the Wholesale business and taking over bookkeeping for the growing business. The couple started opening retail stores in towns around central Illinois – Including Decatur, Jacksonville, Taylorville and Peoria. This allowed for a lot more volume to drive purchasing costs down. The Rexx Battery Warehouse – then in Rochester – was moved to Springfield IL. In a succession of locations as space was required. The current location – 2505 South Grand Ave E. in Springfield has been their work place since 1984.
1981: Mark Kelly (engaged to and later married to Tracee Curtsinger), graduated from SLU and was hired to run the wholesale routes and learn the family business. Mark and Tracee went on to start another retail store in Lincoln, IL in 1983. (Eventually sold to Brian Kelly – Mark’s brother and manager for many years, in 1998.
1985 - 1991: Rex and Carol sold their retail stores. Their second daughter – Laurie Curtsinger purchased the Decatur IL. Store. Since helping in the family business off and on for many years – this was a logical decision. Later Laurie’s husband would join her in the working of this store. (Before purchasing this store Laurie and Jay graduated from ISU in Bloomington and were employed doing computer programing in Chicago Il.) Two smaller stores were purchased by Mark & Tracee Kelly. All other stores were sold to their mangers – including the Taylorville Il. store purchased by Danny Coker. The sale of these stores allowed Rex & Carol to concentrate on running the wholesale business. Rex recognized the need to invest his time purchasing from the manufacturers with quantities that would allow all of these growing retail stores to be competitive with even the “big box” stores.
1991: Carol Curtsinger died of complications from heart surgery. Her death was unexpected but came only 9 months after the sale of their last three retail stores.
1995: Tracee and Laurie started “Battery Contact” to purchase and distribute household type batteries and expand the battery business into “batteries for everything”. This business has been run within the Rexx Battery Warehouse in Springfield, IL. since its conception.
1997: Family owned stores were all incorporated and the REXX name added to their titles.
2008: In May 2008 the 3rd generation entered the business. Shane Kelly, oldest son of Tracee Curtsinger Kelly & Mark Kelly started with the REXX BATTERY warehouse location in Springfield Il. after graduatuing with a degree in Business Management from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. He was followed by his younger brother – Devin Kelly in February of 2009. Devin joined the BATTERY CONTACT side of the business – specializing in household batteries and building of custom battery packs.
2010: Sisters Tracee Kelly & Laurie Fitzsimmons purchase property at 2945 E. Clearlake Ave in Springfield Il. and built a new 15,000 sq. ft. warehouse for the distribution center. July 2011 marked the completion of the new facility and the move from a 28 year property rental on South Grand Ave in Springfield IL.
Please visit us at any of our locations. We have included a page on this site titled” Locations” to help you find the store nearest you. We are always happy to ship in the event that we are not close to you!