Since 1946, Melton Sales has operated at the corner of 4th and Missouri in the heart of downtown Claremore. Originally called George Melton & Sons, it was a Pontiac and International Harvester store in what was then predominantly a farm town. Today, the dealership sells new Ram, Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep vehicles, as well as pre-owned. On any given day, you can find seven of the Melton family members at work in all areas of the store.
The current patriarch is Rob Melton, a Claremore native and graduate of Claremore High School. In college at Arkansas University, he met Sandy Benton of Sand Springs, and the two married, with Sandy completing her education at the University of Tulsa the following year. Fifty years ago this week, the two moved back to Claremore. Sandy was a teacher at Westside Elementary, while Rob worked at the dealership with his parents and brother Larry. When Rob’s mother, Jean Melton, fell ill, Sandy stepped in to help. Since then, they have worked the family business alongside Larry and their two children, Robert and Amy. Larry’s sons, Greg and Jake, also work at Melton Sales.
2021 marks the 75th anniversary of Melton Sales. Together, the family has weathered many storms and shared many collective accomplishments, emerging all the better. The easygoing pace and tight family culture are evident to customers both new and old, many of whom are considered lifelong friends.
Nowadays, “the kids,” Robert, Amy, Greg, and Jake manage the day-to-day affairs, but Rob and Sandy still work at a more relaxed pace most days, sharing an office across the hall from Larry. “We are an odd breed due to the fact we somehow all work well together. Everyone brings their strengths,” said Amy Gordon. Robert Melton II said, ”It’s nice to have their wisdom around to help keep us between the ditches.”
The business was started by Rob and Larry’s grandfather, George Melton. That means that the Eight grandchildren would be the fifth generation of Meltons, and they can all be found doing odd jobs around “the ship” from time to time. Although not officially employees, Larry’s daughter, Angela, and his late wife, Patty, have been the behind-the-scenes cheerleaders for years.
Claremore is fortunate to have such a strong family business in town. The Meltons are known throughout Claremore for their generous spirits in the community, always finding ways to give back. Congratulations to Rob and Sandy for 50 years of dedication!