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Fowler Heating and Cooling

About Us

How did Fowler get its start?

Where to begin!?!?
Somewhere in the mid to late 50’s just after high school Loran Fowler started his heating career with a small company called Comfort Heating Service owned and operated by Kenneth Penn north of Marion on Rt.37.

While working there he installed and serviced coal furnaces and stoker and learned to make sheetmetal ductwork and accessories. He worked there till 1962 when he went to work in Herrin for a commercial sheetmetal company called McNeill and Dugger, installing large commercial heating and cooling systems and other sheetmetal work such as standing seam roofs, roof decking, flashings, and gutters. He worked for McNeill and Dugger on S.I.U campus for 10 years and then 4 more years in the surrounding area on other projects.

In 1976 Loran began work out of the Sheetmetal Worker’s local hall. After three years and tiring of the lengthy travel to and from work every day he and his wife Carol decided to open up a new company; Fowler Heating and Cooling Inc.

It was March 1979 when Fowler officially became open for business. They worked out of their home with one employee and their two son’s Steve & Allen, in a barn that was built for Fowler’s farm equipment and hay storage but by1982 they had grown to a total of 5 employees. Knowing they were outgrowing their space, Loran and Carol purchased an old building at 423 S. Court St in Marion and moved the business to town. This was a huge undertaking for them as borrowing money to expand in uncertain times was quite a gamble.

They built offices inside the front of the building and used part of the back half of the building for the sheetmetal shop. The remaining space was rented out for storage but in just a few years Fowler had outgrown itself again took over the rented areas.

We continued to grow into the 90’s and on one hot July day in 1996 our phones rang at home and we were told our building was on fire! Upon arrival we found Fowler Heating & Cooling engulfed in flames. The Awesome Marion Fire Department was on the scene however and they were doing their best to get the flames put out. No matter how hard they tried though, they just could not slow it down. We asked them about going into the offices and retrieving some records and other important items. They said “Absolutely not!”

The next thing we know one of the fire fighter is asking Carol what is was that she wanted out and they began dragging out filing cabinets, computers and a host of other items. They saved us on that day and the help they gave us will never be forgotten. We thought all was lost; the years of hard work, our building and machinery, and our entire inventory. Carol was devastated.

The fire was out by 10 AM and by 2 PM that afternoon we were operating and taking calls out of a temporary trailer loaned to us by Holmes Construction. There were so many people who came and offered to help. It is hard today to remember all the names but we owe a lot of gratitude to them.

By November we had rebuilt at double the size and proudly moved into our new building, just knowing that we would never out grow that much space! Shortly after building the new building Loran Retired and in 2000 the Matriarch of our company Carol Fowler had also decided to retire.It was a scary time for new owners, son’s Steve and Allen Fowler. Loran and Carol had achieved so much how could we hold a candle to that?

But as we all know, time marches on and it is now 2011 and Fowler Heating and Cooling is bigger and stronger than ever. We have 25 awesome employees and a simple business ethic.

We believe in the simple concept of… “do what you say you are going to do, when you say your going to do it”. We treat our customers exactly as we want to be treated and do our best to give the best service bar none. The future is ours to have or loose. The best service available will keep us going for another 32 years!

P.S. OH yeah…… We are adding on again! We hope to be in the new addition in November 2011!

Track our progress by visiting our facebook

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