Photo by Jason Parsons.
Amick Welding's 78 years of history have taken the three-generations of owners all over Huntington County.
Owned now by brothers Kevin and Alan Amick, the business was started in 1931 by the brothers' grandfather, Dale. Since then Dale Amick's son, Jack, and two of his grandsons have kept the family welding business alive across the county.
From doing work in fields for farmers during the planting and harvest season to building several large tanks for Weaver Popcorn and even putting in a gauge to measure the water level inside the dam at J. Edward Roush Lake, Kevin Amick notes the company has made its bed with all of Huntington County.
"Most of our work is within the county. Over the years we have worked for almost every industry in the county."
The work at Weaver Popcorn was to build steel containers to house all of the corn right after the company buys it from the farmer when it is fresh out of the field.
The gauge for the reservoir was needed in the 1980s because ice damaged the outside gauge to measure the water. Amick says trying to put 100 feet of pipe through a 30 foot building at the dam brought up the comment that the inside gauge is the "eighth wonder of the world."
Aside from certain large and time-consuming jobs the welding services company has had over the years, Amick says the company mainly gets it work from walk-in customers.
"We used to do repair work in the factories, but we don't tend to get a lot of that kind of work with companies anymore," he says. "Back in the 1960s not everyone knew how to weld. But now welders are so common that even large farm conglomerations have a farmhand who welds.
"Walk-in customers are most of our business."
Amick states that those walk-in customers need repairs on a variety of items.
"We do any kind of repair," Amick adds. "Anywhere from fixing a card table chair to building the big tanks for Weaver Popcorn. It seems most of the business has gone from building to more of repairing, though.
"We're not into manufacturing lots and lots of parts. We are more into modifying and fixing what customers have."
Amick admits that the business still gets industries across the county needing their assis-tance and even Vectren Energy has a partnership with Amick Welding where the Amick brothers assist the natural gas company with installing equipment at new home sites.
For Vectren, the Amicks help install new metal piping that Amick notes is called a "T" weld. The weld helps connect the underground gas line to pipes that are used to connect with the house. Amick also says the company builds meter sets for Vectren.
"We've still got some companies as customers that we go to a site, such as Vectren," he states. "And when the farming season comes around and equipment gets broke down in the field, we go out there and repair it.
"We sell steel products for the convenience of Huntington residents so they don't have to go up to Fort Wayne," Amick says. "Then we cut and form the steel. We can also roll the steel.
"We still construct ornamental hand railings for people who want sturdy railings. That used to be a bigger part of our business but it is coming back a little now. I can do just about most anything. If I can't, I'll let the customers know."
Amick notes the work from Vectren and from farmers consist of the largest amount of the company's customers. But he adds he and his brother still go into some factories around the county to continue servicing equipment that needs welded.
The business was started in 1931 when Dale Amick began his entrepreneurial adventure. But about 10 years into the endeavor, Amick worked in Wabash during the World War II years.
"After Grandpa started the business, he was asked to go to General Tire in Wabash during World War II years, but still kept the business here," Amick says. "My grandpa's father-in-law, Ora "Odie" Shroyer, ran the business from the early 1940s to that late ‘40s when Grandpa came back when the war was winding down."
Dale Amick retired in the late 1960s when his son, Jack, took over. He owned Amick Welding from the late ‘60s to the late ‘90s. And when Jack Amick's sons took over, he stayed on board as a part-time employee. Kevin Amick says he feels lucky to have had the opportunity to work with his father.
"It was very fortunate to work with our father that long because most people don't have that opportunity," he says. "And also for the reason that Alan and I don't know anyone who is mechanically smarter than my dad."
Amick Welding has been located at various sites around Huntington and even when it first began, Kevin Amick notes he's heard his grandfather started the company in Markle as a travel business. It has also has locations in downtown Huntington and near the old location of the Huntington Family YMCA. Its current location is 1275 W. Park Drive, Huntington.
To contact Amick Welding, call 356-5824.