Fred B. McAfoos opened his business in Benton sometime around 1918. Previously he had worked with his father and brother Ollie in a retail lumber business in Whittington, IL. It is said that most of the lumber that originally built Sesser, IL came from the Whittington yard. In 1918 a spark from a passing locomotive started a fire that completely destroyed the lumber yard, after that, Fred moved his family to Benton and started a new venture.
The new business was located on East Church near the C & EI railroad office and sold feed and farmstead equipment. In his first year of operation Fred sold 50 Delker Brother's buggies, the next year he only sold 2. It was the end of an era and the beginning of the mechanization of agriculture. Feed, flour, and cream separators were the main commodities sold, much of which was delivered by horse drawn wagons. In the 30s Fred added a harness shop, and in the 40s moved just east of the old Webster Jr. High School in Benton. The harness shop finally closed in the 50s but the feed and equipment business remained in the same location until 1968.
Fred's son John joined the business after returning from World War II and as rationing eased, more emphasis was placed on tractors and equipment. John moved the business to the old Ward Dairy Farm location in 1968. Tom McAfoos joined the business as the 3rd generation in 1977 and in 1979 the business moved one more time to its current location on Highway 34 East in Benton. The business has continued to expand and evolve since the move including 2 major building additions. Current facilities include over 6,000 square feet of sales and parts area, 40,000 square feet of warehouse area, and over 9,000 square feet of shop space located on a 10-acre lot.
Over the years F.B. McAfoos has represented International Harvester, John Deere, DeLaVal cream separators and milking equipment, Massey Harris, Case, Deutz, Ford, New Holland, and many other short line brands of equipment. The full line of Kubota products was added in the mid 90s and is now the primary line of equipment represented. Along with farm equipment, FBM offers an ever expanding line of lawn and garden equipment for the home owner and commercial market. Brands include Grasshopper, Cub Cadet, STIHL, Exmark, and Kubota. F.B. McAfoos also offers sales and rental of Kubota light construction equipment including skid steer loaders, track loaders, and mini excavators.