FROM A FIVE-GALLON BUCKET TO A BUSTLING FAMILY BUSINESS
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 wagons to barrels by five-gallon buckets for the first five years of business. The first pumping unit was purchased in 1943.
RICHARD WESSELS JOINS
Ray hired his oldest son Richard as a tank wagon driver.
Ray bought the DX station in Palmer becoming an Independent Oil Jobber. He also bought stock from DX and started buying products directly.
EXPANSION IN PALMER
A propane bulk plant was built in Palmer.
Ron, Ray’s second son, joins on as a tank wagon driver.
Richard and Ron purchase the business from their dad.
Purchased the DX bulk plant in Humboldt, IA, and soon after bought Christensen Oil in Humboldt, which gave them their first experience as convenience store owners.
NEW PALMER BUILDING
A new building was built on the west side of Palmer due to the need for more office space.
TERRY WESSELS JOINS
Ron’s son, Terry, joined the business as a salesman/tankwagon driver.
END OF AN ERA
LISA WESSELS JOINS
Lisa, Ron’s daughter, joins the business to oversee the convenience stores that have now grown to six locations (Albert City, Algona, Hampton, Humboldt, Sac City, and Spencer).
The building was once again expanded to add office and storage space.
THIRD GENERATION TAKES OVER
Terry takes over as company President and Lisa is the Director of Operations over the convenience stores. A new truck shed/wash bay was built across the street from the existing offices.
FOURTH GENERATION JOINS
In May 2016, Brandon Wessels graduated from Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, IA, and began working with his Dad, Terry. On October 7th, Terry was diagnosed with stage 4, metastatic pancreatic cancer.
IN MEMORY OF TERRY
Terry lost his battle with cancer on January 15th, 2017. His fight was a short but valiant fight. He went out on his terms, not letting 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, returned 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 purchased Stanley Propane in Emmetsburg, IA, giving them a new location outside of the home office.
NEW FAMILY OWNERSHIP
Brothers, Brandon Wessels and Bryce Wessels purchase the company from Ron, Liz, Lisa, Terri, and Jeff Wessels resulting in the fourth generation of Wessels Oil Co. family ownership.
Wessels Oil has grown from its humble beginnings of five-gallon buckets and one tank wagon to a thriving family-owned operation that operates 14 propane bobtails, 9 refined fuel trucks, 4 propane transports, and 5 refined fuel transports. While much has changed since it's founding, Wessels Oil continues to be an ethical provider of petro energy products and services while remaining Family Owned Since 1938.