Robert S. Dean, Sr. started this business in Fort Myers, Florida in 1947 as a welding and machine shop. The business was located in a rented building next to Tharr's Packing House on Anderson Avenue (now known as Martin Luther King Ave). The post-war years brought recession and shortages of spare parts. Bob Dean Welding was able to repair and rebuild worn farm machinery and equipment of all types with an expertise that brought repeat business and success.
In 1951 property was purchased and the company relocated across the street to the corner of Cottage Street and Anderson Avenue in a building fabricated by the company. That building is now the Steel Shed located at the back of the company's current headquarters. The business grew, and in 1966 our location on Hanson Street was purchased and the main plant constructed. By this time, the company avereaged 25 employees with 12 to 14 in the Welding and Machine Shop, and the remainder active in the sales division. It was at this time that the company began to focus on Mill Supply sales.
In 1956 Bob Jr. started college at the University of Florida. He graduated in the summer of 1960 with a Bachelor of Industrial Engineering degree. Bob was employed by General Telephone Company of Florida for a few months as the Shop Foreman. He returned to Bob Dean Welding shortly thereafter. In 1971 Bob Jr. purchased the company's outstanding stock and a year later reincorporated to drop the "welding" from the company name to better represent our increased emphasis in Mill Supplies and, new in 1972, as Distributor for Browning, Hub City, Morse, and other industrial power transmission lines.
In successive years, pumps and electronic controls panels were added to the companys product mix, with pumps becoming and important growth area. With the addition of several lines of pumps, Bob Dean Supply's six divisions were formed: Welding & Machine Shop, Power Transmission, Industrial Supply, Pump Sales, Steel Sales, and Pump Repair & Motor Rewind.
In May of 1977 Bob Dean Supply opened their first branch operation in Clewiston, Florida, located on Highway 832 (Evercane Road) just east of the city. In January 1983 our Motor Rewind division opened to better serve our customer base. In july 1988 we added a second branch office in Immokalee, Florida which has subsequently closed.
After graduating from the University of Florida in 2004, Mr. Dean's youngest daughter Ashley Dean Myles joined the company. Services were expanded to include a new website presence and eCommerce catalog.
In the Spring of 2007 Bob Dean Supply celebrated its 60th year in business. A customer appreciation bar-b-que was held in April. A new printed catalog was introduced to our customers as was our Steel Handbook.