Peterson Electric was founded in 1923 by A.L. Peterson, a Winger, MN Native. He realized the need for trained technicians to service the fast growing automotive, trucking and agricultural industries. Mr. Peterson opened his first shop at 410 NP Avenue in Fargo. He specialized in magneto, generator, electric motor, light plant and battery repairs. The firm relocated for a short while to the 600 block of NP Avenue, next to the Orpheum Theater.
In 1925 Oscar Larson (Mr. Peterson’s half brother) joined the firm after graduation from Dunwoody Institute in Minneapolis and the firm became known as Peterson-Larson Electric. The firm once again relocated to 404 NP Avenue, items such as Attwater-Kent radios and Bosch and Lomb accessory headlamps were sold.
in 1928 United Electric Service and Supply Inc. was created and finally settled at it’s current location at 312 1st Avenue N. in 1932.
During the year much growth took place. The first outside salesman, shop foreman, and the first office girl were all added in 1932.
The years that followed brought continued growth to the firm. Ditzler automotive finishes were added in about 1937 and began a strong commitment to the auto body repair industry that continues today. Throughout the 40’s and 50’s as the service business grew, the parts distribution business grew rapidly. United Electric began training its distribution customers to help them stay abreast of the constant changes in technology and service procedures. The evolution of the automobile took many large steps during these years. Mechanical improvements like 12 volt electrical systems, alternators, air conditioning, advanced fuel systems and the introduction of fuel injection necessitated constant training to keep our technicians and our parts customers up to speed. Clinics were held all over North Dakota, Minnesota and South Dakota in conjunction with manufacturers such as: AC-Delco, Autolite, Leece-Neville, Prestolite, Zenith, Marvel Schebler, Briggs and Stratten and Tecumseh to help achieve this goal.
1954 was the first physical addition to the building at 312 1st Ave. N. A 2500 sq. ft. addition was added to the rear of the building to house the expanding small engine business.
1957 a branch store was added in Carrington N.Dak. The store was managed by Wally Erickson.
Dale Larson joined the firm in 1957 as the sales manager and a concentrated effort was begun to be the automotive and agricultural air conditioning specialists.
John Greene joined the firm in 1961 and was rapidly pushed to assume all of the bookkeeping responsibilities after the untimely death of our bookkeeper Mrs. Green.
1968 a 10,000 sq.ft. addition was built at 308 1st Avenue N. increasing our parts and service areas dramatically. To address our ever growing wholesale parts business, two new companies were born from the original company. United Electric Service and Supply and UESCO Warehouse inc.. UESCO cultivated the growing jobber business in N. Dakota, Minnesota, and S. Dakota as well as becoming an original equipment supplier of agricultural air conditioning for companies like Steiger Tractor, Ag Chem and Macdon industries.
The store in Carrington was sold in 1971 after a decision was made to focus on independent warehouse distribution rather than owning our own captive stores.
In the fall of 1974 we negotiated the purchase of 2 ¼ acres of land on the corner of 7th Avenue and 25th Street North in Fargo. UESCO Warehouse moved into an existing building and a new 28,000 sq.ft. building was constructed for United Power Equipment (Formerly United Tool and Supply) to occupy.
Moving into the 80’s provided many new service opportunities as we were pushed reluctantly into the era of smog controls and computer controlled vehicles. Now more than ever the importance of factory supported training was clear. Because of strong alliances formed over the years with AC-Delco and others we were able to provide the training necessary to our technicians and customers to help them remain knowledgeable.
In 1986 Steve Larson joined the firm and assumed the role of Vice President and General Manager of United Electric Service and Supply inc.
In the Fall of 1992 a new division was created for the purpose of blending and marketing PPG light industrial coatings to small and medium manufacturing firms. This division became known as United Industrial Coatings.
As the population of Fargo-Moorhead continued to expand, mostly in a southern direction, we felt that we were becoming more and more inconvenient for a large portion of our target service customers. We also felt that with the increasing complexity of the automobile there would be a growing need for high quality technical service in a clean pleasant environment. In March 1998 we acquired property at 3232 28th St. SW in Fargo with the intention of building a 12 bay “state of the art” service facility to service the ever increasing population of south Fargo. The Southside location opened in December 1999. In 2007 a third location was built at 728 Meyer Drive in West Fargo (North of Pioneer Center). All three locations now operate under the banner of United Automotive Tech Center.