Wasco Hardfacing Company is a national distributor and manufacturer of tillage tools and cultivating equipment. The company was founded in 1952 by Neal Gilley and has remained a family-owned operation since then.
After returning from World War II to his home in Oklahoma in 1947, Neal Gilley married Doris and went to work for Adams Hardfacing Company. Neal continued to work for the company until 1951 when he and his wife loaded all of their possessions in an old Ford car and moved out west to California.
Once in California, Gilley went to work for Cliff Clemens, who owned a Case dealership in the small town of Wasco. In 1952 Cliff closed the business and Neal asked if he could keep the repair shop open for the farmers around the Wasco and Shafter areas. That is when Wasco Welding Company was born. Neal, along with business partner Ted Wilson operated the business on a shoestring budget . It has been said that the first customer of Wasco Welding Company paid in advance for services just so that Neal could buy the materials to complete the job.
The fledgling business continued to operate and in 1954 the name was changed to Wasco Welding & Hardfacing. Twenty years later in December 1973, Neal bought Ted Wilson's half of the business, incorporated and changed the name to Wasco Hardfacing Company. In 1974 Neal's son Steve came to work for the company on a full time basis.
By 1980 two other family members joined the business; Neal's other son Phil and his son-in-law Robin. Business was growing and the family found it necessary to relocate to Fresno for a more central location. Once in Fresno Steve, Phil and Robin handled sales for the business which quickly expanded north to Chico and south into Southern California.
Today the legacy continues and the Wasco Hardfacing Company has over 55 employees Business has expanded throughout the entire United States and also into Australia. In the future the company plans to expand internationally into other markets.
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