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United Gas played pivotal role in community growth
The back-yard woodpile was a familiar sight in Floresville before natural gas came to Wilson County September 11, 1929. Firewood for cooking and heating was chopped from thorn infested mesquite trees that dot the Southwest Texas countryside. It was a happy day when the Southwest Distributing Company, a predecessor of United Gas, introduced natural gas into the Floresville area.
Many homemakers, long accustomed to smoking, slow-burning wood stoves, had attended cooking schools, sponsored by the company, and were taught how to use shining new gas ranges. Southwest Distributing Company became a part of the United Gas system in 1930. Since that time, United Gas has had an important role in the community’s life and growth.
In 1940, shortly before the beginning of World War II, United Gas served a total of 347 customers. During the next 10 years the number increased to 591, and by mid-year, 1960, to 757. United Gas, the largest handler of natural gas in the nation, is constantly expanding its reserves so that Floresville and other cities and towns connected to the company’s pipeline system will be assured an adequate and dependable supply of natural gas.
A continually expanding network of more than 8,700 miles of main transmission pipelines now extends from the international boundary at Laredo, across major portions of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and southern Alabama, to the Pensacola area in northwestern Florida. This system is connected to more than 500 gas fields in three states. More than 6,100 trained men and women in five states are required to handle operations of the company’s production, transmission, and distribution facilities.
For the past 20 years, United Gas has conducted a campaign to promote industrial development in the area it serves. Regular advertisements spotlighting this area are published in some of the nation’s leading magazines.
“We are proud of the long and friendly association between United Gas Floresville and Poth,” Norris Machost, Floresville representative of the company, said. “We pledge our efforts to staying ahead of the natural gas needs of the community.”
This article was published in the Floresville Chronicle-Journal, September 1965. The Wilson County Historical Society meets on third Tuesdays at 7 p.m. in the American Legion Hall in Floresville, 1412 Fourth St. Dues are $20 for individuals, or $30 for couples. Call LaJuana Newnam-Leus at 830-393-2166 or visit wilsoncountyhistory.org.
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