In 1945 after serving more than four years overseas in the United States Army, Charles F. Starkey Jr. returned to Parkersburg and was employed at Parkersburg Iron and Steel for two years. In 1947, he began his career selling appliances. He became interested in the soft water industry and after much study and formal education in the field, he entered the soft water business in 1950 in partnership with his brother – in – law, Paul Heinselman. A Lindsay franchise was acquired from the Lindsay company of St. Paul, Minnesota, and Lindsay Automatic Water Conditioning Company of Parkersburg was established. Mr. Starkey sold softeners at night and installed them during the day until the operation grew successful enough to hire an installation man. Later he became the sole proprietor of the company.
On April 1, 1966, with the goal of expansion and flexibility in mind, Lindsay Automatic Water Conditioning of Parkersburg was incorporated and the name changed to Starkey Soft Water Inc.
Both of his sons, Brian and Fred Starkey were active within the business – delivering salt and eventually servicing after high school. Brian went on to Ohio Valley College and West Virginia University, graduating in 1974 with a BS in Journalism. He followed in his father’s steps, taking over the business operations after his father’s death on July 13, 1987. Brian remained in charge until his “too early” death on December 5, 2009.
In 1974, Bill Prior(one of the founders of Kinetico) met with Mr. Starkey at an Ohio Water Quality meeting. He talked “Charlie” into trying one of his softeners in his house and he was definitely impressed! So in 1975, began our association with Kinetico. Kinetico Inc, headquartered in Newberry, OH is a leading manufacturer of a full line of top quality water treatment systems. Since 1970 the company has been engineering and manufacturing products that are innovative, user-friendly and responsive to the customers changing demands. Kinetico serves customers in an expanding variety of residential, commercial, industrial and municipal applications in North America and nearly 100 countries. Kinetico’s advanced technology and commitment to the customer continue to set it apart from the competition.
Starkey Soft Water remains in the family’s hands with Brian’s wife, Babs and daughter Shannon.