Back then the brothers worked on the refrigeration equipment of many of the small mom-and-pop grocery stores which dotted Southeast Missouri's landscape.
The brothers emphasized service in their business traveling and working where needed and instilled that ethic for hard work in their children, who would often join them on the jobs.
Floyd Presley Jr. remembers tagging along, toting the toolbox behind his father and uncle. Terry Presley and Marty Presley would soon take their turns at learning on-the-job about the refrigeration business.
In 1971 Floyd Presley Jr. joined his father in the business full-time. Together they worked to expand the company, evolving from refrigeration work to also include heating and air-conditioning needs for Southeast Missouri residents.
After being away from Sikeston for several years, Marty Presley returned to become a part of the company his father started. Since 1988, he has worked with Presley Sales and Service.
Together the family has continued to expand the business which now includes 16 employees and Minnie, a Great Dane who keeps an eye on the comings and goings from her office pillow.
Services provided by the company still include refrigeration work along with heating, air conditioning, plumbing and ventilation. Some of their newer areas Presley Sales and Service is working in are indoor air quality by providing electronic air cleaners and the new ultraviolet lighting which prevents mold growth.
Their knowledge of thermal storage units has taken Presley workers across the United States. They have installed commercial units from sunny Miami north to Portage, Wis. and as far east at Archibald, Penn., to Longview, Wash., out west
And more of their residential customers are making use of the units as well, Marty Presley said. "With the rising price of natural gas, customers are seeking other means to heat their homes, that is where Carrier's Hybrid-Heat comes in," he said.
He explained that by installing a heat pump to work along with an existing gas furnace, homeowners enjoy an energy savings of up to $3 worth of heat for every $1 paid in electricity.
As the refrigeration business has sought to meet environmental concerns, Presley Sales and Service has moved away from the use of ozone-depleting freon to units using Puron as a refrigerant. For the past eight years, the company has offered equipment by Carrier with this new technology.
While their list of services has changed, the Presley brothers emphasized their father's commitment to quality remains a hallmark of the business.
"Our commitment is to our customers, to quality products and quality workmanship," said Floyd Presley. "We try to be proud of every job we do - we treat the little ones just like the big ones."
The Presleys and their employees undergo training year-round, with both in-
house and corporate training to remain up-to-date on the challenges presented by changing technology. Floyd Presley estimated 90 percent of their employees are North American Technician Excellence certified.
Their efforts have not gone unnoticed. In 2005 Carrier named the company the "Residential Dealer of the Year."
Customers are happy too. Their retail and commercial customer base, which reaches back as far as 1946, typically covers a 50- to 60-mile radius of Sikeston although occasionally they will take jobs even farther away at customers' requests.
And today, while the elder Presley and his wife have turned over most of the duties to their sons, the business now includes a new generation of Presleys. Marty Presley's daughter Keshia and Floyd Presley's sons, Aaron and Tyler, have joined the company working in the office.
Summer office hours are 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The company also maintains 24-hour on-call service for their customers to meet emergency needs.