Checker Motors Company was founded 1922 after Morris Markin, Chicago clothier and owner of an auto body repair business, loaned a friend $15,000 to support Commonwealth Motor Company. The friend was unable to pay him back, so instead gave Markin ownership of Commonwealth. The car company had been manufacturing personal passenger cars at a Joliet, Illinois facility, but Markin altered production in order to build taxis. Markin merged his existing auto body business with Commonwealth to form Checker, and he moved the production facility to Kalamazoo, Michigan. On this day in 1923, the first Checker assembled at the Kalamazoo plant rolled off the assembly line.
Kalamazoo remained the home of Checker production until the last one left the factory 59 years later, in 1982. In 2009 Checker Motors Corporation filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and the following year the business ceased to exist after its headquarters was sold.