Sheldon Gas Company of Dunkirk, Ohio is a family owned and operated business spanning five generations of Sheldon family members. A natural gas distribution company, it serves 1375 customers and operates 47 miles of pipeline in Dunkirk, Dola, Forest, Vanlue, and Kenton.
On September 1, 1914, the Bert L. Sheldon Company opened for business to supply gas to the residents and businesses of Dunkirk. Upon Bert’s death 1956, his son, Russell H. Sheldon, assumed ownership. By this time, the demand for natural gas in the Dunkirk and surrounding area had risen to a point where the original local wells could no longer keep up. Therefore, in September 1956, under the name Sheldon Gas Company, local gas lines were connected to lines operated by the Ohio Fuel Company to meet the increased demand. Russell operated the company until 1970 then sold it to his son, Bert Sheldon.
The business experienced a great deal of growth and expansion under Bert’s leadership including the purchase of two other gas companies, Forest in 1970 and Vanlue in 1976, the building of the company’s current headquarters in 1980, and the expansion of lines near Kenton in 1988. During his time running the company, Bert was assisted by his wife and business partner, Martha (Spearman) Sheldon. Bert and Martha operated the business until their retirement in 1998 when they passed the business on to their nephew and current owner, Richard Walden.
Richard has worked at the company since he was a young boy and became full time after his high school graduation. Richard is married to Dr. Lisa Walden, who is a professor at Ohio Northern University and they have one daughter Lindsay. Lindsay is 2015 graduate of Ada High school, and currently junior at Ohio Northern majoring in management and will be the fifth generation owner, upon Richard’s retirement.
Throughout its 103 years, Sheldon Gas Company has been an active and supportive member of the communities and schools it serves, especially its hometown of Dunkirk and it’s resident school Hardin Northern. The business has enjoyed sponsoring countless town festivals, athletic teams, athletic events, community service projects, and school activities.