Fabian “Fabe” Sheehan started Sheehan’s Plumbing & Heating in 1939. In 1952 Fabe added the propane gas service as a sideline.
In late 1952 Fabe went full-time into the propane business, selling his plumbing & heating business to Fritz Fernkes. Also in 1952. Fabe built the propane bulk plant located east of Bird Island on Hwy 212.
In the beginning, the business was called Sheehan’s Shellane Service. This lasted for only one year as Fabe had to pay Shell Petroleum one cent per gallon, just to use the Shell name and logo.
When Fabe dropped the Shell name he started buying from an independent wholesaler, and changed the company name to Sheehan’s Gas Company, as it is today.
In 1969, Bird Island Mayor Setzepfandt met with Fabe Sheehan to discuss the possibility of bringing natural gas into Bird Island. At this same time, Mike Sheehan, Fabe’s son was attending Southern Technical Institute, in Marietta Georgia, studying the gas business. It just so happened that Mike’s class project was designing a municipal natural gas distribution system. So as his class project Mike designed the Bird Island natural gas distribution system. It was exactly what Bird Island needed, so in late 1969, the gas distribution system that Mike designed, was installed in Bird Island.
In 1989, the Sheehan Gas Company ran a six-inch natural gas pipeline from Hector to Buffalo Lake. In 1992 Sheehan’s continued the pipeline from Buffalo Lake to Stewart. At present the Sheehan’s provide natural gas service to both Buffalo Lake and Stewart.
Sheehan’s Gas service employs seven people, which includes Mike Sheehan and his son, Todd. Fabe has since retired and spends the winter months in Texas. Fabe Sheehan and wife, Lorraine, have eight children, thirty grandchildren and ten great-grand children. The interesting fact about the Sheehan generations is that there is an even mix of males and females. Fabes, s children, four boys and four girls. His grandchildren, fifteen boys and fifteen girls. His great-grandchildren, five boys and five girls.
Mike Sheehan has four children: Todd, works with his dad, Mike in the gas business: Paul works with an Indy Race Team; Lisa manages six Express Clothing stores in the Minneapolis area and Chad is a pilot training in Minneapolis, learning to become a commercial airline pilot.