Merle Anderson started in the welding supply business in 1935 in Argos,
Indiana. Soon after, he moved the business to Warsaw, Indiana
renaming it Warsaw Welders
Richard (Dick) Trump began
working for Mr. Anderson upon his graduation from high school in 1939.
Warsaw Welders Supply was sold in the fall of 1941. Merle
and Dick operated the business together, until Dick was called to active
duty in World War II in August 1942. After serving his country
for a little over three years, Dick returned to work with Mr. Anderson.
Mr. Anderson continued working for the company until 1947, when he decided
to again start his own business.
This is how Northern Gases
began at its present location. In 1956, Mr. Anderson installed
the original acetylene plant in a chicken house. The garage from the
house was moved and attached to the chicken house for the purpose of
an office and showroom. When the acetylene pumping equipment was installed,
this was considered a rural area and there was not sufficient electricity
to run the equipment. Mr. Anderson rigged a gasoline powered engine,
that set outside the building, attached a drive shaft through the wall
to the compressor to pump the acetylene.
In 1949 Dick met and married
Marie Messmore. In 1951 their first child was born. Over
the next ten years, the Trumps swelled to a family of five children.
Dick left the welding supply business for a period of three years, and
then in 1961 he joined forces again with Mr. Anderson. Mr. Anderson
was in failing health and passed away in August 1962. At that
time Dick acquired Northern Gases.
In order to get the business
back on its feet, Dick and Marie decided to run Northern Gases
by themselves. Dick would run the daily routes, and Marie would
take care of the walk-in business, and the bookkeeping (and five little
Trumps). Dick would pump acetylene at night to have product for
the next day' s route deliveries. Marie (with her co-pilot, Steve, then
11 years old) would make one or two trips a week to South Bend, Indiana,
to pick up oxygen. By 1965 the business had grown enough that
Dick and Marie felt they could afford one employee.
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. The year 1975 brought destruction of the old acetylene
plant/office building and construction of a new office/showroom and
cylinder maintenance building. This building also housed the route
trucks. By 1978 we were getting our oxygen in bulk liquid form and filling
the cylinders ourselves.
The summer of 1985 found
Northern Gases bursting at the seams. A larger office with
a self-service showroom was built to display all the items in stock
to make the welder's life easier. A further expansion of that
building was done in 1993 and the high pressure filling and liquid filling
facilities were moved to the new building. Our expansion was not
contained to only Pierceton; in 1988 Northern Gases returned
to Warsaw, and opened a satellite store in Warsaw to better serve the
market. Overwhelming acceptance of this satellite facility brought
construction of a new and larger store in 1998 to take care of the growing
Dick Trump, who started
his family's future on May 19, 1939 with Mr. Anderson, passed away in
July 1991. He left Northern Gases behind for the family
to carry on the tradition of service and quality that he and Mr. Anderson
worked so hard to build. Marie is still greatly involved in the
day to day management of Northern Gases, and the second generation
of Trumps has begun to work in the business. Son Steve joined
in 1971; son Chuck in 1974; son-in-law Roger in 1976; and daughter Mary
Today, Northern Gases
has approximately 11 other employees. Northern Gases began
by filling only acetylene cylinders. Presently we fill our own acetylene,
oxygen, argon, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, mixed gases, Mapp™ Gas, and