Business of the Month - Chesbro Music Company

Business of the Month – Chesbro Music Company

Chesbro History

With the motto “Service and Quality Since 1911”, Chesbro Music Co. has grown to become a staple to musicians in Southeast Idaho and Western Wyoming.

While Chesbro Music was officially founded in 1911 in Idaho, the company started earlier in Seattle, WA.  The founder, Horace Chesbro, was the son of a traveling spiritualist minister.  The family money was tight so Horace quit school at the age of 12 and worked as an apprentice in a retail music store in Seattle.  Because of his musical abilities, his employer sent Horace to complete a two year program at the Valparaiso Conservatory of Music where he studied violin.

After graduating, Horace returned to Seattle to take over his previous employer’s music business In 1901, Horace partnered with his brother Harry and opened their own music store selling pianos, violins, and other music items.  When the piano business didn’t succeed in Seattle, he made arrangements to pay his creditors instead of declaring bankruptcy.  Hearing that the farmers in Idaho were doing well financially, he moved his family to St. Anthony, Idaho in 1911 and set up a music store while living in an upstairs apartment.  He later moved to the growing Idaho Falls area in 1915 and to the present Broadway location in 1924.  This financial accountability and his negotiation ability with vendors helped him grow the business and survive in lean years.   He sold and serviced pianos door to door and also established the first school band programs in eastern Idaho.  Horace created the demand for music.  He funded the school programs by hiring band teachers and rented instruments to the students.  Later the schools created their own music programs.

Joan passed away in 1999 leaving the business to her three children Scott Chesbro Griggs, Tana Jane Stahn, and Vanetta Chesbro Wilson.  Vanetta and Tana are actively running the business on a day to day basis as the CEO and CFO.

Chesbro continues to operate the wholesale division as well as two retail stores in Idaho Falls and Rexburg, Idaho.

Chesbro has been a firm supporter of music organizations, events, and schools throughout eastern Idaho and Western Wyoming.  The company has remained in the family with each generation literally growing up in the business at the side of their parents and keeping to the core values established by Horace and Ella.

We started as a retail business and are proud to continue the rich legacy of customer service to  meet customer needs with two brick and mortar stores, and a mail order business to serve customers.  The purpose of supporting active music making is one of the goals of the company.  We support schools, lesson and education programs, in house instruction, and community events that highlight and support music .  The joy of learning to play an instrument is a lifetime  talent that will have a lifelong affect on a person and others.  The music business is a great business to be in because  the end result is joy, happiness, and a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment for the person who learns to play an instrument.  Music truly is the universal language and overcomes all barriers.

Chesbro opened their Rexburg location in August 2005 and has been actively involved in the Upper Valley Music Scene ever since.  Chesbro has appreciated the support of the Upper Valley for our 100 year history and looks forward to continuing to service the music needs of the community for many years to come.


The Rexburg Area Chamber of Commerce bases the nominations on the selection criteria used for the Business of the Year Awards, which focus on the following:

Community, Participation, Community Leadership & Character.

Chesbro Music Company

257 North 2nd East

Rexburg, ID 83440


Fax: 208-356-6915