State Automatic Heating & Cooling was started in 1929 by Les Frantz. After working for Sinclair Oil Refining Co. for 2 years, Les developed a large customer base and decided to start ‘State Oil Burner Co.’ with Ken Swinford. The pair serviced Coal Stokers and Oil Lamps.
In 1937 State Oil Burner Co. became ‘State Automatic Heating & Cooling Corp.’ and in 1944 Les bought out his partner and was on his own. He has four sons, all of which worked for him at one time or another.
Gary Frantz, the second of Les’ four sons, joined the ranks in 1966 and soon became a primary owner. He began helping his father as a teen, putting fittings away and organizing the shop.
James Gates joined the team in 1990, bringing with him his new construction HVAC expertise, after marrying Gary’s daughter, Kelly.
Jim’s father, Bob Gates Sr. (joined in 1998), and two brothers, Bob Jr. (1988) and Mike (1992) Gates are also part of the ‘family team’.
In 1998, Kathy, Gary’s oldest daughter, came aboard to administrate the office work flow matters; currently we have our 4th Generation joining in: James in 2006 and Josh in 2007 (Jim’s sons) to add some fresh energy, so it has become quite a family affair. Our remaining employees, who are like family, have also been with us a long time: Mark (1978), Dave (1996), José (2003), Annie (2004), John (2016 ), Tim (2017), and Will (2021).
Today, we are honored that the majority of our business is largely from referrals.
Les, (deceased 2005 at 98 years old ) was proud of what State Automatic had become.