BNG Company History – The Lewellyn Family
In 1946, Olive Lewellyn took over Boonville Natural Gas Corporation with her late husband Lawrence Young. When her husband passed away suddenly a few years later, Mrs. Lewellyn was left with two small children to raise and a company to run alone at a time when there were very few women business owners and almost no women executives in the natural gas or heating industries, especially in the rural Midwest.
There were no air conditioners at the time, so the company started just working on heating. It was just after World War II and there were coal furnaces everywhere. Using these coal furnaces got coal dust all over the house, but Bryant had a solution. They created a cast iron conversion burner that allowed coal furnaces to burn cleaner natural gas instead. Though these conversion burners did not have the efficiency modern natural gas furnaces have, but Mrs. Lewellyn’s customers seemed to appreciate a break from the coal dust.
Through the years Boonville Natural Gas added water heaters, air conditioners, household appliances, water softeners, generators, and other products. All of the Lewellyn children worked for the business in some capacity through the years. And in 1968, during the summer of his 6th grade year, John Lewellyn, Mrs. Lewellyn’s youngest son, began working at the company as well. It wasn’t until 1978 that he made it a full-time position after graduating from Purdue University with a degree in Industrial Management.
John worked side-by-side with his mother until the spring of 2006 when she passed away at the age of 95. She had continued to come to work every day up until her health started to fail in late 2004. Mrs. Lewellyn was an outstanding business owner and a woman well ahead of her time. Her commitment to excellent customer service was instilled in the company from the very beginning and is still our driving force today.
Today John and his wife, Lynnette, manage BNG Heating & Cooling and are working to re-grow one of the oldest Bryant dealerships in the state of Indiana. We have changed our company’s name a time or two through the years, but our commitment to our customers has always remained the same. Family-owned and operated since 1946, we pledge to treat our customers with the respect and honesty we know they deserve. With over 60 years of service, you know we can deliver.