Simonsen Industries has its humble beginnings on a small farm near Quimby Iowa. As a veterinarian and hog producer, Warren Simonsen needed a reliable source of protein to use in his hog feed. He began a small rendering operation for this purpose in approximately 1928. Soon, many area farmers were buying this protein meal to sell to their own herds. As this business grew, the need for a full-fledged feed mill was realized and a feed mill was built on the farm as well. As the business grew, Warren also expanded his farming operation raising cattle, turkeys, mink, and assorted other livestock.
After World War II, Warren's three sons, Dean, Doyle, and Merle entered the business with their eyes on new and emerging technologies of the time. Dean Simonsen took over the day to day operation of the feed mill and rendering plant while Doyle Simonsen focused his attention on the possibilities that granular fertilizer offered to agriculture. Soon, Simonsen Industries was selling fertilizer to area farmers and was also offering custom application services as well as ammonia.
As their fleet of trucks, cars, and tractors grew, the brothers realized that there was an opportunity to use inexpensive LP gas to power their fleet. This added an additional product line to their already rapidly growing business as local farmers and townspeople alike flocked to LP gas as a source of home heating fuel, stock fountain heating fuel, as well as motor fuel. Soon, Simonsen's was selling LP gas appliances, and furnaces.
Merle Simonsen, a mechanical engineer, felt that the fertilizer application equipment that they were purchasing could be improved to do a much better job of spreading. During the off season, Merle set out to improve Simonsen's fleet of applicators. After a short period of 'modifying' new equipment, Merle realized that it would probably be more cost effective to build spreaders from scratch. The old turkey shed was converted to a small manufacturing shop and shortly Simonsen Manufacturing was born. In addition to fertilizer spreaders, Merle manufactured feed bodies to be used in the feed mill operation. As Simonsen's reputation grew for manufacturing good equipment, the manufacturing business blossomed and continues to build high quality equipment sold all over the United States, Canada, Mexico, Central America, and in some parts of Europe.
Over time, the third generation of Simonsen's entered the business and four are still active in the day to day operation. Mark, Rick, Jeff, and Jack Simonsen have been responsible for leading and directing the activities of Simonsen's since the early 1980's. During this period, the company witnessed many changes in the agricultural industry and has adjusted its business to position the company to remain independent in an industry marked by consolidation.
Simonsen Propane Fabrication was formed during this period to manufacture, sell, and service LP gas delivery trucks. Building on Simonsen Industries strong position as a regional supplier of retail LP gas as well as the knowledge of many Simonsen Propane employees, Simonsen Propane Fabrication quickly grew into a strong regional supplier of LP Gas bobtail trucks.
As a third generation family owned business, Simonsen Industries remains close to its customers and works hand in hand with them to be successful by making Simonsen's customers successful in their own businesses.