R. J. Welch, affectionately called “Mr. Rube” by his business
associates and friends, was the original owner of Welch Butane. Mr.
Rube founded Welch Butane at Naples, Texas in early November 1949,
with one bobtail truck and driver and no bulk storage. He quickly
became known and respected by his peers and area citizens for his
self-made business expertise and wisdom. Welch Butane grew to become
one of the largest independent Propane dealerships in the Northeast
When Mr. Rube retired January 1, 1968, the business was passed on to
his son, Hershel G. Welch. Over the years, Welch Butane acquired
other Propane gas dealerships, which were consolidated into the
overall operations. In 1984, Welch Butane became a registered
corporation. Operating under its own corporate charter, the company
was renamed “WelchGas”, dropping the “Butane” term and moving to a
more modern trade name.
The late 1970’s and early 1980’s brought about the addition of
retail locations in Daingerfield and Bogata. In 1987, Hershel’s son
Wes joined the family operation and they soon opened another retail
location. On November 1, 1987, the retail office in Mt. Pleasant was
opened and then relocated to its present site in October 2001.
The Welch family operated a propane transport company – Welch Energy
– from 1977 until 2007. The transport company supplied propane to
all WelchGas locations over the years, as well as to other
surrounding propane dealers in the Northeast Texas area.
On September 1, 2007, Wes Welch acquired ownership of WelchGas. The company now operates three retail locations. The main office is in Mt. Pleasant. A branch office is located in Daingerfield and on December 1, 2011, WelchGas opened the newest location in New Boston. The company provides a wide variety of services in the agricultural, commercial, and residential propane market.
The “Welch” name is synonymous with “Texas Propane Gas Association”
as all members of the WelchGas families, beginning with Mr. Rube,
have been active in all levels of the State and National Propane Gas
Associations. Five members of the Welch family have served as
President of the Texas Propane Gas Association – George Welch, Sr.,
1971-72, Hershel G. Welch, 1984-85, George Welch, Jr., 1996-97, Wes
Welch, 2001-2002, and Tommy Granberry, 2005-2006. Several members of
the Welch family are currently serving on State and National Propane
Known throughout Texas and the nation for their strong beliefs and
efforts in Propane Marketing, WelchGas was the winner of the NPGA
National Marketing Achievement Award in 1985 and the recipient of
the 1995 Texas Railroad Commission “Propane SuperStar” award for
marketing. WelchGas also sponsors the annual Bill Henderson Propane
Marketing Award. Named for W.W. “Bill” Henderson, the award is
presented to a Texas propane marketer that has shown innovation,
dedication, and community involvement in promoting propane.
Henderson has been associated with the Welch family and their
propane operations for over 50 years, beginning as a bookkeeper and
advisor to Mr. Rube and as a salesman and marketing representative.