About Nelson Propane

1982: The Coronation

The story of Nelson-Putman Propane Gas, Inc. begins in a farm shop in Emhouse, Texas. Wayne and Judy Nelson, Billy Nelson, and Ralph Putman began Nelson-Putman Propane on October 4, 1982. Ralph and Billy were the route salesmen while Judy was the one and only office personnel. Wayne took on the task of serviceman, setting tanks and repairing leaks.

John Nelson, Wayne’s father, who was retired from Northern Propane Gas after 40 years as manager, joined Nelson-Putman Propane shortly after the incorporation of NPP as office manager. John’s reputation for gruffness was only superseded by his generosity and willingness to work with customers, a family trait laying the foundation for NPP. It didn’t take long for hard work and customer service to be recognized. Customer growth was on the way, requiring additional office personnel, more delivery trucks, and more servicemen. Local customer relationships were the positive force behind fast growth.

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Nelson-Putman Propane expanded their business, opening another office in Ennis. Mike Nelson, Judy and Wayne’s youngest son, became the manager of this location. Shortly after, the Nelsons were devastated with the loss of Mike in an automobile accident.

Nelson-Putman Propane purchased Suburban Propane Gas, Cedar Creek, Texas in August of 1991. The acquisition proved to be a great growth area for the company.

Gary Nelson, Judy and Wayne’s oldest son, officially joined the company in 1996 after being involved part-time since the beginning. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Texas Propane Gas Association numerous times. In early 2012, Gary returned to managing the family Ranch and Cattle operation full time.

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1986: Expansion

2006: The Fourth Generation

Wayne and Judy’s grandson, Jeff had the opportunity to continue the family legacy in the propane business as the 4th generation. After nine years as Director of Operations for a major marketing company in Minneapolis, MN, he stepped in as CEO of Nelson-Putman Propane. Under Jeff’s renewed dedication and desire for growth, the company expanded in 2008 with the acquisition of Henry Oil and Gas located in Ennis, Texas, and Mr. J’s Propane located in Athens, Texas. Acquiring two strong competitors was a positive, successful strategy for Nelson-Putman Propane.

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In 2011, Nelson-Putman Propane changed the name to Nelson Propane Gas, Inc. in order to establish the company in a larger arena to increase the growth potential of the brand.

In July 2014, Nelson Propane Gas, Inc. was approached by Mr. Johnny Poole of Poole Gas, located in Malakoff, Texas. Mr. Poole expressed his desire for Nelson Propane to acquire his family company, knowing it would be managed with the same commitment to his beloved customers and in line with his family values and morals. Once again, this acquisition proved to be a very positive and successful approach to expanding in the Cedar Creek Lake area. Not only were the companies and customers merged under the Nelson Propane Gas brand, but Mr. Poole also stayed with the Nelsons, continuing to deliver to his customers as he always had.

The following year, Mr. Roy Casey, Jr. of Casey Propane in Fairfield, Texas, made a very similar request to the Nelson Propane Gas family. Mr. Casey spent many years growing his family business in Freestone County and surrounding areas and wanted the opportunity to retire and spend his retirement years working his family ranch and cattle operation that he enjoyed so very much. He was only interested in selling his treasured propane company to someone with the same morals and work ethics as he used to build his business over the years. Mr. Casey knew the company that met his criteria was Nelson Propane Gas.

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2011: Rebranding

2015: Continued Growth

The Casey Propane employees joined the Nelson Propane team. The transition proved to be positive for both the Casey and Nelson families as well as for the employees and customers served out of the Fairfield Office.

Nelson Propane further expanded their reach by purchasing Gregg LP Gas in Palestine, Texas. While there was already a local driver and smaller presence in Palestine prior to this acquisition, the purchase of Gregg LP Gas solidified Nelson Propane’s place in Anderson County and the surrounding area. Mr. John Gregg had built a great company and treasured his employees and customers he’d serviced for so many years. Nelson Propane was incredibly pleased to retain all of his loved staff and continued their passion for customer service out of the Palestine location.

Later that same year, in December, Nelson Propane was expanding once again in Freestone County, with the acquisition of Lyle Propane in Fairfield, Texas. Mr. Lyle Red was a long-time fixture in the Fairfield business community, active on many boards and organizations. Mr. Red decided to continue his part store and oil business but wanted to sell his propane business to Nelson Propane. His two propane delivery drivers merged into the existing Fairfield office as Nelson Propane became the only Propane Delivery Company in Freestone County. It was, once again, a successful merger, with Nelson Propane continuing their dedicated customer service to Freestone County and surrounding areas.

In February, 2018, the Nelson Propane service area grew a little bigger with the acquisition of Sandyland Propane in Grapeland, Texas. As former owner, Sonny Tunstall, was interested in retiring and being closer to his beloved grandchildren, he made the decision to contact Nelson Propane, knowing his company and customers would be taken care of with them. This broadened the Nelson Propane circle into Houston County and again, the Sandyland employees happily joined the Nelson Propane family.

In June of 2019, Nelson Propane was looking to expand East to better serve some existing customers, who were also moving just outside of our service area. This need to grow East happened to coincide with Mr. Rey Strube’s desire to retire. The acquisition of Strube Propane brought three additional offices to the Nelson Propane family, located in Pittsburg, Gladewater and Longview. It also grew our service area tremendously. But once again, Nelson Propane was very fortunate that the experienced crew with Strube Propane decided to continue with us and allowed us to seamlessly transition into the area.

Later that same year, Jeff Nelson was approached by Gillert Gas in Athens. With us already having a presence in Athens, Mr. Gillert wanted to sell his company to Nelson Propane to ensure his treasured customers would be taken care of. Mr. Gillert continued to deliver propane for the Nelsons until he decided to retire.

In February 2021, Nelson Propane was contacted by Propane Energy in Mexia. With the passing of longtime businessman, Bill McCullough, the family looked to Nelson Propane to continue their father’s work, selling propane in the Mexia area. The Mexia Office was officially under the Nelson Propane umbrella on the first day of the historic winter storm in Texas, which was certainly an event to remember! Even with the hardest week ever experienced by Nelson Propane, it was another successful area of growth that we plan to proudly service for generations to come!

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Our dedication as a company and a leader in the propane gas industry has never seemed so clear! Regardless of economic condition, energy prices, or competition, the first 40 years of success for this company have been based on the belief that the customer comes first. The next 40 years and more will be no different.

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Future Endeavors