- About Us
The beginnings of G.A. Wintzer & Son Co. can be traced back to the 1840s when an early pioneer in the Wapakoneta area, Gotlieb Machetanz was purchasing hides and skins with the Shawnee Indians along the Auglaize River. In 1848 Gotlieb’s nephew, Charles Wintzer, moved to Wapakoneta to join his uncle in the family business. In 1857 Charles took over the business and changed the name to the Charles Wintzer Tanning Company. Charles continued to purchase and tan hides and skins for sale as strap and harness leather goods. In 1905 a decision was made to discontinue tanning operations. The company continued to buy and cure hides and skins for sale to tanneries and commenced buying and selling other packing house by-products.
In the early 1920’s the G.A. Wintzer & Son Company was formed to replace the Charles Wintzer Tanning Company by Charles’ son G.A. and grandson Carl. Rendering operations were started to compliment the hide and skin business. The beginnings of the rendering industry were quite humble. Open kettles were used in a lean-to shack attached to the Jacob Werner and Sons Slaughter House north of Wapakoneta. A plant was built soon after just down the road from the slaughter house.
In 1943 Carl’s son Frederick took over the family business with his mother. In 1946 the Wintzer plant caught fire and was burnt to the ground. A new plant was built 2 miles South of Wapakoneta at its current location on County Rd 25A/Dixie Hwy. Fred built what is known as a modern rendering plant. In 1970 he purchased and installed one of the first continuous cookers in the industry. Fred also developed and patented a few tools and technologies that are still used in the industry today. This type of ingenuity and forward thinking is what has kept G.A. Wintzer & Son Co. in business for over 164 years.
In 1989 Fred’s eldest son Gus and third son Carl assumed President and Vice President positions at the company and are still at the helm today. Together they have grown the business to what it is today. G.A. Wintzer & Son now span’s into 5 states Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Kentucky and West Virginia, employs just over 100 employees, operates over 100 vehicles on the road covering over 2 million miles each year.
Gus and Carl are the 5th generation of Wintzer’s to have ownership in, and operate the company.