NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - South Bend Supply Co. in South Bend, Ind., is celebrating its 100th year of business. Founded by F.W. Long, the company opened in 1906, selling pipe valves and fittings, steam pumps, and boiler equipment. Long based his business on providing dependable service backed by quality products - a philosophy still in practice today.

After outgrowing the original shop on North Michigan Street, South Bend Supply moved to its current location on 1310 South Prairie Avenue in 1971, where its 110,000-square-foot warehouse is one of the largest in the midwestern United States.

Through the years, South Bend Supply has supplied such major companies as Bayer, Bendix, Dodge Manufacturing, Nibco, Singer Sewing Machine, AM General, Studebaker, Whirlpool, and Notre Dame. Celebrity customers include Oprah Winfrey, Gale Sayers, George Steinbrenner, Muhammad Ali, Alan Jackson, and Dennis Farina.

South Bend Supply was acquired by Ferguson in 1998. Kim Stuber, inside sales manager and 35-year associate, said the acquisition was a good move. "Ferguson has been a plus for us in many ways," Stuber said. "It's like we are one big family. Everyone always seems so eager to help each other out."

Curtis Turner, general manager, said, "Personally, it has been a very rewarding experience for me to work with a group of associates who take so much pride in their historical contribution to the local manufacturing and construction industry. Today we have 23 associates still employed that were a part of the acquisition.

"They bring a combined 547 years of dedicated service to our company and have worked well with the newer associates who have arrived since the acquisition occurred. The South Bend Supply Co. was definitely a great new addition to the Ferguson family."

Publication date: 07/17/2006