Memoriam: Bennie L. Boxx

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We would like to extend our sympathy and best wishes to the family and friends of Bennie Boxx, founder of B&R Machine and Gear Corporation, who passed away on January 2, 2005. The following is a tribute written by the Boxx family.

Bennie L. Boxx, founder of B&R Machine and Gear Corporation, was born March 1935 in the small farming community of Sidonia, Tennessee. In 1943 the Boxx family relocated to Chicago, Illinois. Bennie attended school in Chicago but completed only some high school. It was more important at that time to earn money, and Bennie’s first job in the gear business was at Industrial Gear. Although he did not graduate from high school, Bennie learned everything he needed from hard work and hands-on experience. Bennie left Industrial Gear to work at Arrow Gear in Downers Grove, Illinois, where he learned the spiral bevel gear business.

Bennie went on to work at various companies such as Clipper Industries, Cadillac Machinery, Balfre Gear, and Bradfoote Gear during the years leading up to 1972. With Bennie’s knowledge of gearing he earned the nickname "Einstein" from his peers and co-workers.

At that time he joined two friends to form a gear business called Astron Gear in Hodgkins, Illinois. By the end of 1973 Bennie decided he really liked being his own boss and wanted to open his own company, so he sold his partnership and started B&R Bevel Gears in Addison, Illinois. The first year, B&R employed three people. By 1976, business began to grow and B&R had to move to a larger facility, employing eight people. During a visit to his hometown in 1977, Bennie noticed a vacant trucking building (Central Southern Trucking) and made the decision to open a branch of B&R Bevel Gears in Sharon, Tennessee. In June of 1978 his eldest son Bennie moved to Sharon and opened the B&R Machine and Gear Corporation. By the end of 1979, B&R Bevel Gears moved and merged into one company. The company started out with one 7,000 square foot building and now consists of five buildings totaling over 135,000 square feet on 22 acres. B&R Machine and Gear Corporation is still owned and operated by the Boxx family, currently employing 30 men and women, and it will continue the legacy Bennie dreamed and lived.

We have lost a beloved husband, father, father in-law, grandfather, and great-grandfather. The community has lost a great asset, and the gear business has lost "Einstein."