Our History

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McKirnan Brothers, Inc. was founded in 1914 by Daniel C. McKirnan and James A. McKirnan as a retail cigar and tobacco store. The original location at 209 S. Main St in Celina, Ohio was also a pool hall in the early years.

Their father, John McKirnan, was an oyster fisherman from the Chesapeake Bay area near Philadelphia. John also worked as a “Huckster Wagon” operator in Mercer County during his time in Ohio.

With guidance from their father, Daniel and James began purchasing direct from manufacturers in order to supply local retailers with cigarettes, tobacco, candy and other products.

In 1935, the brothers moved their operations to the old City Hotel (Fayette Street) in Celina to accommodate increased demand in warehouse space necessary for their growing business.

After the conclusion of World War II, Daniel M. McKirnan and Robert J. McKirnan returned from service for their country to join their fathers in the business.

In 1956, the company purchased eleven cigarette machines from a local games operator and the vending/food service division was born. The Mersman Tables plant in Celina was the initial vending machine customer after the implementation of one coffee machine, one soda machine and a snack machine.

In 1979, McKirnan Brothers, Inc. purchased the Barr Co. warehouse at 530 Schunck Road (Celina) and is currently headquartered there. That same year, Robert D. McKirnan (Robert J.’s son) joined the business. The following year, Frank D. McKirnan (Daniel M.’s son) followed suit.

The dairy division of McKirnan Brothers was created in 1985 after purchasing the assets and accounts of the Spicer Dairy Company.

In 2014, McKirnan Brothers Inc. celebrated its centennial and continues to serve its customers with three generations of experience.


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