North State is owned and operated by the Byers family of Rutherford County. Brothers Stuart, Bruce and Burwell Byers comprise the company's management team. Collectively, they have over 100 years experience in the propane industry.
North State Gas Service traces its origins to 1938, a time when propane was a novel product to many households. B.B. Byers was recently retired from a 36-year career with the Standard Oil Company, and his son James was approaching graduation from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.When B.B. suggested that distributing propane for Standard under the company's "Essotane" brand could hold promise for James to create his own business, his son warmed to the idea. James chose the name "B.B. Byers & Sons," to allow for the possibility that his older brother Henry and his younger brother Tom might someday join the new enterprise.
B.B. Byers, seated on tankwagon, with his brother Charles standing, on Forest City's Main Street in 1906. (Charles later headed Standard Oil in North Carolina.)