A Brief Run Through History
Northern Gases has a rich history serving Northern Indiana with the very best in welding gas and supplies.
Richard (Dick) Trump began working for Merle Anderson at Warsaw Welders Supply in Warsaw, Indiana upon his graduation from high school in 1939. They operated the business together, until Dick was called to active duty during World War II in August, 1942 and continued to serve his country for over three years. During that time, Warsaw Welders Supply was sold and under new ownership while Mr. Anderson continued to work for the company. When Dick returned home he also worked for the company for a short time before he moved on to his passion of farming.
Mr. Anderson worked for the company until 1947, when he decided to again start his own business in Pierceton, Indiana. This is how Northern Gases began at its present location. Starting out small as a local welding supply and gas retailer, Mr. Anderson would make long trips to pick up cylinders for local customers. That is what convinced him to start designing plans for his own acetylene manufacturing plant.
In 1956, Mr. Anderson installed the original acetylene plant, the first in the area. He reconstructed an old chicken house on his property with Masonite walls for fire protection and added a dock for cylinder storage. When the acetylene pumping equipment was installed, there was not sufficient electricity to run the equipment. Mr. Anderson rigged a gasoline powered engine and attached a drive shaft through the wall to pump the acetylene. The garage from the house was moved and attached to the chicken house for the purpose of an office and showroom.
Meanwhile, in 1949 Dick met and married Marie Messmore. Then, in 1961, Dick joined forces again with Mr. Anderson at the welding and cylinder business in Pierceton. Mr. Anderson was in failing health and passed away in August, 1962. At that time Dick acquired Northern Gases.
Dick and Marie decided to run Northern Gases on their own. Dick would run the daily routes, and Marie would take care of the walk-in business and bookkeeping (and five little Trumps). Dick would pump acetylene at night to have product for the next day’s route deliveries. Marie (with at least one child riding along) would make one or two trips a week to South Bend, Indiana, to pick up oxygen cylinders and other supplies.
With the growing business, the next large undertaking for Northern Gases was the construction of a new acetylene plant. The vintage 34-cylinder manifold was replaced with a new Rexarc acetylene plant in 1974. Northern Gases continued to manufacture acetylene for retail and wholesale to other regional distributors. The increasing demand in gases added products in bulk storage form and the filling of high-pressure cylinders.
The summer of 1985 found Northern Gases bursting at the seams. A larger office with a self-service showroom was added followed by a further expansion of that building in 1993 for the high-pressure gas and liquid cylinder filling. The expansion was not contained to only Pierceton; in 1988 Northern Gases returned to Warsaw and opened a satellite store to better serve the market. Overwhelming acceptance of this satellite facility brought construction of a new, larger store in 1998 to take care of the growing Warsaw area.
Northern Gases carried on with internal expansions and growth of product lines over the years. To this day, Northern Gases has extended their service area throughout Northern Indiana, Michigan and Illinois. With national suppliers, Northern Gases services several industries from large organizations with bulk gases to equipment for the local welder. They still manufacture acetylene as well as fill cylinders for argon, nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide, mixed gases, propylene, and propane.
Dick Trump, who started his family’s future on May 19, 1939, passed away in July 1991. Northern Gases continues on with the success that was fostered through Dick’s dedication. The second and third generation of Trump’s, to this day, remain committed to the values of service and quality at Northern Gases with the support of their mother, Marie.