Company History

Citizens Gas Fuel Company is a public utility engaged in the distribution and transmission of natural gas. Citizens was organized in 1951, and with its predecessors, has been in business for more than 150 years. 

1856 Adrian Gas Light Company founded. Furnished manufactured gas to 98 gas light customers. Company president was E.F. Lloyd. Population in Lenawee County was 23,000 and 3,000 in Adrian.
1885 Changed ownership; became Adrian Gas Company.
1903 Name changed to Citizens Light and Power. J. H. Fee was the Company’s president. The company provided electrical power to southern Michigan. Power came from a coal-fired steam generating plant on the Raisin River on West Maumee St.
1912 Name changed to Lenawee County Gas & Electric Company.
1923 Cities Service Power and Light Company, a holding company, acquired the properties and name the gas company Citizens Gas Fuel Company.
1929 Stock market crash
1938 Electric properties were sold to Consumers Power and Detroit Edison Company. Mr. R.E. Burger bought the gas property. Mr. Burger appointed Elmer Gmeiner to keep Citizens Gas in operation. An old store was rented on North Main Street which is the location of our present office. Other officers were Carl Buehrer, Leon (Jiggs) Roberts, and Walt Blanchard. Our customer base at this time was 2,800.
1942 Panhandle Eastern Pipe Line Company ran lateral lines into Adrian. Many of the local factories in the area were manufacturing parts for the war effort. Citizens Gas Fuel provided the gas for their production.
1948 Citizens Gas had 37 employees, serving 2,700 customers with 33 miles of distribution mains.
1951 Citizens Gas purchased by Toledo businessman Robert S. Mikesell.
1954 A special committee of the Thermoplastic Pipe Division of the Society of Plastic Pipe recommended the first three thermoplastic materials for natural gas distribution pipe.
1960 64 employees, servicing 5,448 customers with 78.92 miles of distribution mains.
1961 John K. Tolford replaces Elmer Gmeiner as president. Mr. Gmeiner retires after serving as president for 23 years.
1968 Robert I. Nystrom replaces Mr. Tolford as president.
1970 Citizens Gas Fuel installed their first plastic main and service projects. A total of 7,547 customers are being served with 73 employees.
1973 Propane air plant was built on Academy Road, at a total cost of $885,000.
1990 MCN purchased Citizens Gas Fuel. With the retirement of Robert Nystrom, Devere Elgas was named President. Citizens Gas Fuel employed 55 employees.
1996 Main office building located at 127 N. Main St. was found to be structurally unsafe and was demolished.
1997 Grand opening of new office building at 127 N. Main St.
1998 Devere Elgas retires, naming Scott Klemm as Chief Operating officer.
2000 DTE Energy purchases MCN. Citizens Gas Fuel has 15,125 customers, 48 employees and 424 miles of main.
2006 Operates under the direction of Bert Fruchey. With over 17,000 customers and 37 employees.