History of the Ohio Gas Company

A Company You Can Trust.

The Ohio Gas Company was incorporated on May 14, 1914 as the Ohio Gas Light & Coke Company, which merged the Napoleon & Wauseon Gas Company with the Bryan & Montpelier Gas Company. The Napoleon & Wauseon Gas Company was incorporated on October 3, 1912 and Bryan & Montpelier Gas Company was a partnership formed in the same year. During this era, natural gas was manufactured from coal and was used primarily for illuminating purposes. Manufactured coal gas contained about 500 to 600 BTU's as compared to today's natural gas at 1,000 BTU's. The earliest ordinance that we have on record is between the Napoleon & Wauseon Gas Company and Wauseon, Ohio. The Wauseon council passed this ordinance on August 26, 1912 to be effective on November 1, 1912. The ordinance fixed the rate at $1.25 per MCF and had a minimum bill provision of $.50 per month. In 1915 a pipeline was constructed from Wauseon to Delta and a distribution system was installed in the village. There was also a pipeline extended from Bryan to Stryker in 1915, in order to sell gas to the new distribution systems of the Archbold & Stryker Gas Company on a wholesale basis. The Ohio Gas Light & Coke Company continued to wholesale to the Archbold & Stryker Gas Company until 1925 when Ohio Gas Light & Coke Company purchased the outstanding stock of the Archbold & Stryker Gas Company. 1925 also saw the transfer of Delta's distribution system to Lake Shore Power. This transfer was consideration for the settlement of a lawsuit. Ohio Gas Light & Coke Company continued to provide manufactured gas to Delta on a wholesale basis. The distribution system of Delta would come back into the fold in the mid 1980's.

In July of 1926, Great Lakes Utilities purchased the stock of the Ohio Gas Light & Coke Company and it continued to operate as a separate entity under its own name. Ohio Gas Light & Coke Company ventured outside of Northwest Ohio in 1926 with the purchase of the distribution systems of the villages of Millersburg and Killbuck in Holmes County Ohio. This purchase was made from the East Ohio Gas Company. In 1926 a line was constructed from Archbold to Wauseon completing the link of the systems of the original Bryan/Montpelier, Archbold/Stryker and Wauseon/Napoleon gas companies. Our records indicate that nine customers were added in Pettisville as the line was constructed. The entire village of Pettisville was piped in 1931. In 1930 a line was extended west from Bryan to Edgerton and a distribution system was installed. Ohio Gas Light & Coke Company's next growth spurt was prompted by the Interstate Pipeline System's extension through Northwest Ohio in the late 1930's.

Panhandle Eastern Pipeline was constructed through Northwest Ohio in the late 1930's on the way to Detroit and the auto plants. The original Ohio Gas Light & Coke Company interconnect with Panhandle Eastern was southeast of Wauseon in June of 1939. There was still some manufactured gas in 1939 serving Napoleon and the final conversion to natural gas from Texas/Oklahoma was in April of 1940. House heating, water heating and cooking now replaced illuminating as the primary uses of natural gas. 1945 brought another change in ownership as Great Lakes Utilities sold its interest in the Ohio Gas Light & Coke Company to the Lannan and Dempsey families of Chicago. The replacement of manufactured gas with natural gas made system expansion an option and also prompted a name change. On July 25, 1946, Ohio Gas Light & Coke Company was renamed the Ohio Gas Company. Western end expansion saw a distribution system constructed in West Unity in 1955 and Eastern end expansion saw Swanton add a distribution system in 1957. Ohio Gas sold its Holmes County holdings, of Millersburg and Killbuck, to the Ohio Fuel Gas Company in 1961. During the 1960's supplies from Texas/Oklahoma remained abundant and Ohio Gas Company grew at a rapid pace. Liberty Center and Whitehouse were piped in 1962. Paulding, Payne and Antwerp were purchased from Central States Properties in 1963. Pioneer's system was constructed in 1963, Hicksville in 1964, Fayette in 1965, Metamora in 1968 and Florida in 1969.

Expansion went on hold during the 1970's. Energy prices were escalating rapidly. The average residential rate in 1970 of $1.07 more than tripled to $3.61 by 1980. Natural gas wellhead prices had been held artificially low through regulation and no one was drilling. There were severe natural gas shortages. Ohio Gas Company was operating propane-air plants (designed for peak shaving) for base load. In 1975 the company acquired the Lyons Gas Company, which consisted of the distribution system in Lyons, Ohio. This acquisition was not made with customer growth in mind. The main asset was an interconnect between the Lyons Gas Company and ANR Pipeline. There had been two transmission pipelines crossing Northwest Ohio for some time, but Ohio Gas Company had dealt exclusively with Panhandle Eastern until this acquisition. Work began immediately on a pipeline from Lyons south to Wauseon so this new source of natural gas could help the entire Ohio Gas System during the shortage years.

Wellhead price deregulation did stabilize supply and the 1980's and 1990's saw customer growth return. The Village of Ney was piped in 1983. 1985 saw another change in ownership. The Lannan and Dempsey Families sold their interests to N.W.O. Resources. 1985 also saw the largest acquisition in our history take place. The distribution assets of Defiance and Delta became available from Toledo Edison and Ohio Gas Company made the purchase. The Village of Edon was piped in 1994, the Village of Sherwood was piped in 1996 and the Village of Blakeslee was piped in 2004.

Ohio Gas Company has grown over the years by interconnecting the small towns in Northwest Ohio. Defiance, Ohio is our largest metropolitan area. In 1997 with the advent of natural gas choice for residential and small commercial customers, Ohio Gas Company started the Community Energy Partnership (CEP) Program. We feel that this structure is true to our small town roots and is the most efficient means of providing customer choice throughout our service territory. The CEP Program is a community based aggregation program whereby each community acts as agent for the residents in the town and surrounding area to purchase and resell the production and transmission function. Ohio Gas Company continues to provide the distribution function. We take pride in the relationships that have been maintained with all of our communities and strive to provide excellent service.