Davenport Energy acquires Lester-Penn Coal & Oil Corp. customers

Edwin G. “Trippi” Penn III (left) and Davenport Energy Inc. President and CEO Lewis E. Wall Jr. (right) shake hands on a deal to bring Lester-Penn Coal & Oil Corp.’s customers in Martinsville and Henry County to Davenport Energy. Penn, who has worked for the family company 50 years, is retiring from the oil business. Based in Chatham, Davenport Energy already has an office in Martinsville.
Edwin G. “Trippi” Penn III (left) and Davenport Energy Inc. President and CEO Lewis E. Wall Jr. (right) shake hands on a deal to bring Lester-Penn Coal & Oil Corp.’s customers in Martinsville and Henry County to Davenport Energy. Penn, who has worked for the family company 50 years, is retiring from the oil business. Based in Chatham, Davenport Energy already has an office in Martinsville.

Davenport Energy Inc., a family-owned petroleum products company headquartered in Chatham, Va., has acquired the customers of Lester-Penn Coal & Oil Corp. in Martinsville, Va.

Lester-Penn Coal & Oil Corp. has served the Martinsville-Henry County community for many years, providing fuel oil and other products to homes, businesses and industry.

Davenport Energy provides the same petroleum products and services to customers in and around Martinsville and throughout Southside and Southwest Virginia.

“We want to thank Lester-Penn customers for their business over the years, and say that Davenport Energy looks forward to serving them in the future,” the companies said in a joint statement.

Lester-Penn President Edwin G. “Trippi” Penn III plans to retire, but will work closely with Davenport Energy during the transition.

“We know Davenport Energy, and know they give good service. We feel like they will treat our customers well, too,” Penn said.

The Lester-Penn office has closed and all customer fuel needs should be directed to Davenport Energy’s Martinsville office at 8720 Philpott Highway. To schedule deliveries or for more information, Lester-Penn customers may contact Davenport Energy at 276-632-5788 or 800-528-0599 or visit www.davenportenergy.com.

“We are making every effort to make this a smooth transition and continue to build on the fine tradition established by Lester-Penn,” said Davenport Energy President and Chief Executive Officer Lewis E. Wall Jr. “Customers may see a new driver, but can expect the same great delivery and service.”

In addition to fuel oil, Davenport Energy offers propane, propane appliances, and propane service along with automatic fill and will-call and flexible payment and budget plans.

Started as Zentmeyer Coal Company in 1937, Lester-Penn added fuel oil in 1954 and changed its name in 1960 after Edwin G. Penn Jr. and Claybrook Lester took over as partners.

Penn, who has worked for the company 50 years, began delivering heating oil while still in high school, often working on weekends and during holidays. He joined Lester-Penn full time in 1971.

Although Penn managed the company, he continued making deliveries, especially when it became tough to find good drivers.

Founded in 1941, Davenport Energy serves more than 25,000 customers from offices in Chatham, Gretna, South Boston, Martinsville, Rocky Mount, Bedford, Roanoke, and Covington.

Davenport Energy is celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2016. For more information, visit www.davenportenergy.com.