Running a God-centered, family-focused business that provides quality home furnishings at an exceptional value is the heart of the Bennett family, owners of Wheeler’s Furniture.
Richard and Glenda Bennett moved from Tucson, Arizona to Springfield in 1979. Richard had been the manager of Barrow’s Furniture in Tucson, but his family had been in the furniture business since 1910 with a home furnishings store in Quincy, Illinois. Upon their arrival in Springfield, Richard went to work for Wheeler’s Furniture, which had existed in Springfield since around 1929, and was owned at that time by Jim Parsons. In 1986, Richard and Glenda bought the business and the historic three-story building downtown on the corner of Walnut and South from the Parsons’. Previously, the building had been home to Hermann-Brownlow Harnesses and Auto Parts and was perfect for setting up display vignettes with its exposed brick walls, high ceilings, and wood floors.
The Bennett’s worked hard to make Wheeler’s a success. As they worked, their children Gregg, Becky, and Kim grew up among employees who were considered family. Gregg was a senior when Richard and Glenda bought the store and by the time he was twenty-one, he was working part-time for his parents. The girls were younger when their parents bought the store and spent many hours of their young lives playing there. As the girls grew up, they performed little tasks like dusting, cleaning glass, and alphabetizing the hand-written tickets. While Wheeler’s was at the downtown location, the Bennett’s saw extraordinary blessing and growth in their family business and eventually Gregg became a manager at the store. In 1999, the Bennett’s expanded with an Outlet that was located on the same block on Patton Avenue. At the helm of this new venture were Becky and Kim who managed the Outlet. In 2002, the Bennett’s expanded the business again with a new showroom on the south side of Springfield at 3861 South Avenue that was operated by Gregg.
By the summer of 2007, the Bennett’s family situation had changed. The children were all grown, out of college, and pursuing other directions in life. Gregg was married, had been called into ministry, and was attending the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary. Becky was married and working at a furniture store in Dallas. Kim was married and working in corporate finance in Chicago. Richard felt the Lord speak to his heart and he knew that it was time to combine the stores into one
location. In June of 2008, the Bennett’s sold the downtown location and moved into the showroom on the south side of Springfield.
The Bennett family continues to own and operate Wheeler's Furniture at 3861 South Avenue. Sadly, Richard Bennett passed away on May 16th, 2014. With support from her children and staff, Glenda has stepped into the leadership role that her husband held, and Wheeler's Furniture continues to embody and embrace the principles that made Richard and Wheeler's so successful for the past 30 years. Customers remain Wheeler's top priority, and Wheeler's continues to offer furniture lines its customers know and love. The store's employees, several of whom have been with Wheeler's for a decade or more, continue to be an extension of the Bennett Family, and have been a source of strength as the Bennett's mourn the passing of their patriarch.
Wheeler's Furniture remains a part of the very fabric of Springfield, and the Bennett Family and their employees honor Richard by continuing to provide quality home furnishings at an exceptional value to the people of Springfield and the Ozarks.