Ray Wessels started the business in October of 1938 when he was hired as a Bulk Station Agent for Mid Continent Petroleum Corporation. He began hauling gas, oil, and fuel to farmers and service stations. In 1938 gasoline was $.15/gallon, kerosene $.10/gallon, fuel oil $.07/gallon, and oil was $.60/gallon.
All gas products were transferred from tank wagon to barrels by five gallon buckets for the first five years of business. The first pumping unit was purchased in 1943.
Ray bought the DX station in Palmer becoming an Independent Oil Jobber when he bought stock from DX and bought product directly.
Ray hired his oldest son Richard as a tank wagon driver.
Ron, Ray’s second son joins on as a tank wagon driver.
A propane bulk plant was built in Palmer.
Richard and Ron purchase the business from their dad.
Purchased the DX bulk plant in Humboldt, IA and later entered into their first experience as convenience store owners when they bought Christianson Oil in Humboldt.
Ron’s son Terry joined the business as a salesman/tankwagon driver.
Need for more office space and truck storage so a new building was built on the west side of Palmer.
Lisa, Ron’s daughter joins the business to see over the conveince stores that have now grown to 6 locations (Albert City, Algona, Hampton, Humboldt, Sac City & Spencer).
More office space was needed so the building was once again expanded to add office and storage space.
Terry takes over as company President and Lisa is the company Secretary. A new truck shed/wash bay was built across the street from the existing offices.
May 2016, Brandon Wessels graduates from Buena Vista University, Storm Lake, IA and begins work with his Dad, Terry. On October 7th, Terry was diagnosed with stage 4, metastatic pancreatic cancer. This was a devastating blow to his family as well as his “Wessels Oil” family.
Terry lost his battle to cancer on January 15th, 2017. His fight was a short but valiant fight. He went out on his terms, not letting the cancer dictate when his time on earth would end, that was his decision. His faith through this time never wavered. Bryce Wessels, a junior at Iowa State University, returns to work with his brother Brandon - both of them bravely stepping into shoes their dad had filled for over 30 years.
Finishing work that their Dad had started Wessels Oil Company purchases Stanley Propane in Emmetsburg, IA giving them a new location outside of the home office for the first time and allowing them to better serve the customers in that area.
Wessels Oil has grown from its humble beginnings of five gallon buckets and 1 tank wagon to a thriving family-owned operation that operates 6 propane bobtails, 5 refined fuel trucks, 4 propane transports, and 4 refined fuel transports. The company celebrated 75 years of business in November 2013. Even though much has changed in the three quarters of a century, Wessels Oil is still rooted in the ethic services of its founder: the kind of service that is embroidered on the company hats - old-fashioned service since 1938.