Bud Barton was working for a petroleum products producer, delivering naphtha to dry cleaning establishments in central Iowa until one day in 1938 when the company announced that it was dropping his route. Bud was reluctant to abandon his customers, so he set up an office in his home and went into business. His first task was buying an old truck just to have something to trade in on a new one.
By 1946, Bud Barton had put enough money aside to open his own plant at 116 Forest Avenue in Des Moines, Iowa. With inventory capacity, he was ready to expand. That year several major producers appointed him as a distributor of their solvents and chemicals. In 1948 the company opened a second facility in Bettendorf, Iowa.
As Barton Naphtha built a reputation for reliability, new markets developed. In 1952, a Council Bluffs, Iowa facility opened routes in Nebraska. The list of products grew until in 1972 the company name was changed to Barton Solvents, Inc. Then a Wichita plant began serving Kansas in 1979. In 1983 the company moved to a new central plant and established corporate headquarters on N.E. Broadway in Des Moines. A Kansas City plant to serve Kansas and Missouri was opened in 1989. A West Bend, Wisconsin warehouse was opened in 2000 and in 2007 a new facility was built. In 2012 the Wichita facility was relocated to El Dorado, Kansas. Today, Barton Solvents is a major supplier of chemical products to thousands of customers in thirteen states.
Bud Barton passed away on June 21st, 1996. Barton Solvents, Inc. remains a family owned business and Bud’s business ethic is still faithfully practiced. A veteran management team remains committed to delivering only quality products, at fair prices, with an extra measure of customer service. Eighty years after it began, the spirit is still the same.