- About Us
- Our Subsidiaries
- Contact Us
Often an historical account must start before the actual point of beginning. So on that basis the history of Templeton Coal Company, Inc., actually begins many years before the company was established. The story of our company began when a young Scottish coal miner concluded that success was not to be found in the mines of his homeland. Having reached this conclusion and with hope of finding a better life, this young man would risk leaving his home in Scotland for the promise of opportunity in America. The year was 1881, and that ambitious coal miner was John A. Templeton. Upon his arrival in America at the age of 21, he had already logged 11 years of experience as a coal miner. Mr. Templeton found his way to Brazil, Indiana, where he landed work in a coal mine located in the nearby small town of Cardonia. The years that followed brought family moves for mining jobs in coal mines in western Indiana and, eventually, built a repository of coal mining knowledge from experience and study necessary to receive a “Mine Boss” certificate from the State of Indiana. More importantly, Mr. Templeton had earned the respect and friendship of acquaintances who would later be investors and advisors in various coal mining ventures established under his leadership. Before striking out on his own, Mr. Templeton had become a mine superintendent for a large area coal company. But throughout many years of toiling underground, he aspired to operating his own company.
In 1913 Templeton’s entrepreneurial ambitions were finally realized when he and a cadre of his close friends acquired control of a seam of coal in Sullivan County, Indiana and started the Linton-Summit Coal Company. Linton-Summit would go on to operate several coal mines over many decades, ultimately being merged into the later established Templeton Coal Company, Inc. And to that point, a few years after the establishment of Linton-Summit, Mr. Templeton was presented with an opportunity which would be the catalyst to the formation of Templeton Coal Company, Inc. He had learned of an unusually thick seam of coal located on acreage in Glendora, near Sullivan, Indiana, and decided that it presented a tremendous opportunity. He was able to purchase the property in 1920, and it was decided the opportunity of this acquisition should be placed with the newly formed Templeton Coal Company, Inc.
From the founding of Linton-Summit in 1913 and Templeton Coal Company in 1920, the combined companies and various affiliates under common control would go on to operate numerous coal mines in southwestern Indiana for more than four decades. Most mines were deep mines, but the company also had holdings in surface mining. Templeton’s run as an active mining company would conclude with the closing of the Regent Mine located near Dugger, Indiana, in 1955.
During 40-plus years of active coal mining, Templeton Coal Company experienced several periods of boom and bust for the industry. These downturns always seemed to be attributable to some circumstance of the time, such as war, recession, changing technology or development of alternative fuels, but regardless of the cause of a specific downturn the pattern of tremendous coal industry unpredictability was well established. This pattern continues to this day. Before closing the company’s last operating mine it was decided that the company should seek additional ways to produce income by moving into other business activities. The company retained its interest and intent to be involved in coal but sought other businesses to cushion the volatility of the coal industry.
Today, Templeton Coal Company, Inc., continues to have substantial interest in coal but it now chooses to exploit those interests through leases with others in the coal mining business. Beyond coal and as can be seen elsewhere on this website, Templeton now owns a company in the scientific laboratory manufacturing industry, Glas-Col, LLC acquired in 1954; two companies in the plumbing and HVAC wholesaling industry, Plumb Supply Company, acquired in 1965, and Riback Supply Company, acquired in 2015; and, a company in the Christian giftware manufacturing and distribution industry, Dicksons, Inc., acquired in 1985. At various times since the company leaders decided to diversify, Templeton has had interests in construction, plastics, real estate development, methane production and electric heating coil manufacturing.
Templeton Coal Company, Inc. continues to seek new business opportunities which align with the company’s objectives.