Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center

Allen County Resources

Max Poorman, founder of Poorman's Heating & Air Conditioning, started a tradition of hard work and excellence decades ago that still rings true today. Max spent his formative years in Illinois before his family moved to Berne, Indiana in 1941. Soon after he met a young lady named Mabel, whom he would eventually ask to be his wife. (Mabel and Max are shown at left.)

After a short stint at the Studebaker Company in Fort Wayne and later at Wayne Home Equipment, Max was offered a job at Superior Fuel Company in 1948. During this time, a large shift from coal furnaces and boilers to automatic oil furnaces occurred. Max kept busy converting schools, factories, churches and hospitals from coal to oil for the next 10 years. During this time, Max and Mabel had three children: Arlene, Kathryn and Greggory.

Max spent the early 1960s modernizing large boiler plants from rotary oil combustion to forced draft atomization gas/oil burners. In 1978, Max and Mabel saw a need for a new way of serving the needs of our region—the Poorman's way. So Max launched the company that today serves customers throughout the area. Today, Steve Baker and Jody Swaidner, who in July 1992 bought the company that Max built, proudly carry the Poorman's banner.