by Clint Dixon
No sooner had production of the Monroe Lift began, than photos began to appear in sales literature that clearly showcased Ferguson plows attached to and being pulled by the Universal Jeep. Willys-Overland, however, never officially acted upon the earlier reports that it was slated to become an approved sub-distributor for Ferguson implements. This is not surprising considering the recent split between Ferguson and Ford during July of the previous summer in 1947.
Rebounding from the split, Ferguson was well into planning the production of his own tractor. Needing implements to sell alongside of this new tractor, he was holding a tight grip on his implement patents and the exclusive binding agreements he had with the actual vendors who had produced the implements and/or parts for use with the Ford. Monroe executives were undeterred. They had another plan that assured they would not have to rely upon Willys, or even Ferguson, to supply implements to attach to their Lift. The Monroe Auto Equipment Company took the reins and established itself as the sole implement distributor for Willys through the purchase of a new subsidiary.
On December 27, 1947, Monroe purchased the Newgren Company with the new acquisition thus becoming a subsidiary of Monroe.1 Founders George Newlin and Henry Green stayed on with Newgren as president and vice president, respectfully. With the new purchase Monroe immediately gained an established source of farm implements. With that came a well-defined dealer network as well as a list of suppliers to actually produce the equipment. Nearly all of these suppliers were the very same vendors who were now in the uncomfortable position of supplying parts and complete implements, not only to Newgren, but also to Ferguson and the to the newly created Dearborn implement division of Ford Motors. It was a wild dash for these vendors to circumvent the existing Ferguson patents and mutual agreements while keeping up with the three-way demand.2