DECATUR — The red building with a barn-like design along North 22nd Street represents 65 years of the Morgan family distribution business.
It started in 1954 when World War II veteran John Robert Morgan, an oil agent at Standard Oil Company, was tasked with starting his own distribution company.
From those humble beginnings, Morgan Distributing Inc., which began as an oil, gasoline and diesel delivery company, has grown to become a main supplier of that and more to over 1,000 agricultural customers within a 70 mile radius of Decatur.
“Being in Decatur is such an important part of our family history,” said Tyler Morgan, co-executive vice president and John’s grandson. Tyler’s sister, Allison Matusin, is also a co-executive vice president.
Three generations of the Morgan family developed the company into what it is today -- a supplier of industrial lubricants, metalworking and specialty fluids with distribution centers in five states: Illinois, Missouri, Indiana, Kentucky and Arkansas.
The Decatur location has 76 employees and nine acres of land. The traditional barn-style facility at 3425 N. 22nd St. includes multiple tank farms. The fuel tank farm holds 160,000 gallons and the oil tanks hold over 600,000 gallons, with an additional 160,000 gallons in the facility’s warehouse. One of the facility’s tank wagons delivers 5,500 gallons of fuel to Central Illinois farmers on a daily basis.
Clint McLeod, of Bri Mac Farms in Assumption, said the corn and soybean farm depends on Morgan Distributing for fuel, propane, oils and more.
“When our busy season is rolling in the fall, there are times they deliver every other day,” McLeod said.
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Morgan said something that keeps their deliveries consistent and frequent to farms is the company's use of technology. Morgan Distributing uses tank monitors that send notifications to the facility when a farmer is need of more fuel.
“We get a notification when the tank drops 10 percent in an hour,” Tyler Morgan said. “When a 1,000 gallon tank drops 100 gallons, we get the notification and that is part of how we determine our demand and build our delivery routes.”
ExxonMobil has recognized Morgan Distributing Inc. as a top 10 distributor for about two decades.
“Where we try and steward the agriculture industry is in our technology,” Morgan said. “We use modern technology to make efficient and on-time deliveries to our farmers so they are not struggling during harvest season.”
Morgan Distributing’s fuel services are just one component of the business. They also offer oil delivery and home heating services. Lubricant services make up 85 percent of their business.
“They are willing to bend over backwards to keep us rolling and that’s a big deal when you are trying to get across some acres.” McLeod said.
“We are proud to be in Decatur,” Morgan said. “This is home.”