James Trotter has spent most of his life around the Ansley/Arcadia area. After serving 3 years in the United States Army he came home to work for Missouri Valley Construction. In the Spring of 1959 he met Virginia Sell of Arcadia and they were married in December of that year. In the fall of the following year James was working on an overpass in Grand Island and fell through the rebar 31 feet and landed on concrete. While his arm was still in a cast, he went back to work pumping sand to fill the overpasses that winter. He left home early one morning in his Arctic Coat, overshoes, and gloves. Around 7:30 am he returned home to his wife soaked and covered in ice. He had fallen into the pit and almost drowned. He told his wife, "That's twice, the next time they'll get me, I'm done with Missouri Valley."

He soon found a job at a filling station in the area.  Shortly after starting to work there, some of the Arcadia area farmers talked to him about opening a filling station in Virginia's home town.  He thought that being his own boss sounded like a good plan, so he bought a station that had been closed for two years. Trotter OIl Company was opened January 29th, 1962 and the rest as they say is history. James and Virginia have two children, Terina Wortman and Jesse Trotter.

James continued to build his business acquiring Trotter Grain and Fertilizer in March of 1968 and Trotter Lumber Company in April of 1969, both in Arcadia.

Over the last 50+ years things have continued to change and grow for Trotter Inc. There are many changes that we have made to keep up with the changing times. For example:

The first floater Trotter Inc. bought was a Trico and cost $5500. It had a width of 50 feet and everything was manual with a little line of foam coming out of the ends so you could follow it and make sure you covered the whole field.

The last dry floaters we bought have satellite intelligence. They can adjust the amount of fertilizer being spread according to grid sampling and satellite mapping.  The newest one cost around $287,000.  It enables us to spray a 120 foot span.

One of Jim's best business moves was bringing Terina and Jess into the family business. Terina started working for the company in 1980 and Jesse started in 1987. Currently Terina is the head accountant of the entire company and Jesse is the manager at the Arcadia Fertilizer plant and also coordinates the other location's managers. They both also wear many other hats in the company but these are their basic job descriptions.

We currently have businesses in Ansley, Arcadia, Broken Bow, Burwell, Elba, Farwell, Hazard, Litchfield, Loup City, Merna, North Loup, Ord, Palmer, Pleasanton, Sargent, Scotia, and Spalding, Nebraska. From the 60s, through the hard times in the 80s, and to the future Trotter Inc. is dedicated to a family and community oriented business.

James Trotter at his first Skelly Station circa 1962 by Kathy Wortman