OUR FAMILY LEGACY
Frank Willburn gained media attention for his methods, way of doing business, and knowledge. This article was published by "Plumbing & Heating Business" in July 1960.
Frank's Plumbing Co. was founded in the early 1950's by our grandfather, Frank Willburn, who was a master plumber and contractor.
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Plumbing and heating is not just our job, it is a part of our family fabric, woven through three generations of plumbing and heating professionals. The Willburn family has a rich legacy in these industries, dating back to the 1950’s and continuing through today. Our grandfather, Frank Willburn, founded Frank’s Plumbing Co. in Amarillo, TX in the early 50’s, after many years as a plumber and contractor in the field.
By the 1960’s, he was gaining media attention for his progressive methods, way of doing business, and his advanced knowledge of the industry. In 1968, following the closure of the Amarillo Air Force Base, Frank moved his business to Houston, TX, and his sons, John, James, and Richard (Dick), who would become master plumbers in their own rights, followed in his footsteps and embarked on a life-long career in the plumbing and heating business.
In 1984, Dick Willburn moved his family of seven to the small mountain town of Buena Vista, CO and purchased a plumbing company called “Bailey Plumbing,” and a plot a land connected to it. That same year he expanded the building and started a plumbing and heating supply company called Hi Valley Pump & Supply, Inc., focused on well pumps, fittings, plumbing wholesale supply. But it didn’t stop there.
He quickly decided to expand the business offerings and added hot water baseboard heaters and boilers to his supply and officially changed the company name to Hi Valley Supply. Not long after, hydronic and electric radiant heating came into focus, and became part of the business portfolio with the acquisition of Infloor Heating Systems. In the small mountain town of Buena Vista, CO, this was a first of their kind.
Between 1994 and 1995, two of Dick’s sons, Michael and Tim, joined the family business. They officially took a seat at the helm in 2002, giving Dick an opportunity to retire and enjoy life, while his children set forth on developing a new chapter in the family business. Today, Michael Willburn is the president of Hi Valley Supply, Tim Willburn is the Vice President, and their sister Cathy (Willburn) Naffziger joined on as Chief Financial Officer.
We expanded our product offerings and technical assistance, upgraded our technology and computer systems, and refreshed the feel and direction of the business. However, we continue to run the business today with the same values, commitment to quality, desire to educate and share our knowledge, and provide the best service to our customers, just like our grandfather, uncles, cousins, and father did over 60 years ago. And we can’t wait to see what the future has in store.
Learn more about Frank Willburn in these Published Articles from 1960
Family Business Timeline
Frank Willburn opens Frank's Plumbing Co. in Amarillo, TX
Frank moves the company and his family to Houston, TX following closure of air force base
Frank's son Dick Willburn moves to Buena Vista, CO and opens Hi Valley Supply
Dick's two sons, Michael and Tim, take over Hi Valley Supply
3 Willburn family members run Hi Valley Supply. New company branding is created