The Founding of Trexler-Haines

Russell C. Trexler was born in 1909 in Topton, PA where he spent his youth. He was graduated from Kutztown Normal School, now Kutztown University, during the Great Depression. The job market was grim for anyone seeking employment, so he returned to Topton to work at Caloric Gas Stove Works. During his tenure Mr. Trexler became intrigued about a clean energy source called propane.

In 1933 he left Caloric to open a hardware store on Main Street in East Greenville, Pennsylvania, with the support of his Father, Fred A. Trexler.

As a visionary he saw propane as a sensible alternative to kerosene, wood, and coal; the dirty fuels that were hard to control and made the kitchen hot. In 1935, he created a propane company he named the Trexler Gas Service Company. Propane had only been available for residential use since about 1916, so he was a pioneer of the propane industry.

1n 1960, Trexler Gas Service Company merged with Haines Gas to form what is now known at Trexler-Haines, Inc. Mr. Haines was President of Trexler-Haines until he retired in 1991.

In 1991 the third generation entrepreneur, Betty Trexler Smith, became the President and CEO of Trexler-Haines. Her vision extended well beyond propane to include the region’s best source of fine kitchen appliances and gas hearth/log products. Ms. Smith believes clients should be able to “test drive” their appliances as they would a car. She created a regional showroom in Allentown with ten live kitchens and many displays showing appliances at all price points. Part of the showroom is devoted to live-burning gas fireplaces, inserts, and log sets as well as outdoor kitchen equipment, grills, patio equipment and supplemental heating. The appliances and hearth products complement the propane business and help our customers take advantage of versatile, clean-burning propane fuel.