company history

Republic has a diverse and storied history in the Quad Cities. We have thrived as a community staple and grown the business to continually improve our ability to meet customers’ needs.  We are very proud of our company history and the events that have led our company to where it is today.

  • 1916

    JS Kimmel borrows $5,000

    from each of his two sisters and opens a Delco Light Plant Distributorship to sell power plants to rural America

  • 1918

    The Electric Equipment Company opens

    at 222 Ripley (1/2 block south of Kahl Building) to sell “modern day” appliances

  • 1920

    Republic partners with Frigidaire

    to distribute refrigerators and freezers

  • 1920

    Republic opens up a counter and warehouse

    at 120 E. Front Street

  • 1932

    JSK Sr. raises $116K locally to help the poor and needy buy coal

  • 1932

    JSK Sr. serves on the initial Board of Directors of Davenport Bank and Trust

  • 1934

    Republic partners with Square D

    and converts its rural Delco Light Plant installers into electrical contractors

  • 1937

    JSK Jr. began his love of aviation at age 16

    by selling his bicycle, his binoculars, and his rifle to pay for flying lessons at Cram Field

  • 1942

    JSK Sr. leads the Quad City WWII effort to sell Victory War Bonds

    from 1942-1944

  • 1946

    JSK Jr. returns from flying the Hump in WWII and starts work at Republic

  • 1947

    Republic moves to present location at 737 Charlotte Street

  • 1948

    Republic enters the residential HVAC industry

    by partnering with Fedders and Worthington

  • 1957

    JSK Sr. creates The Sheltered Workshop

    predecessor to Handicapped Development Center

  • 1960

    Republic acquires Federal Street warehouses and land

    from Standard Oil of Indiana

  • 1971

    JSK Jr. becomes president

    succeeding his father, who died October 10th

  • 1972

    JSK Jr. serves as the volunteer chairman of the original QC Airshow “Aerorama”

    to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the QC Airport

  • 1984

    Mark C. Kilmer joins Republic

    after returning from Standard Oil of California

  • 1993

    Republic opens a Regional Refrigerant Recovery Center

  • 1998

    Mark Kilmer becomes president

  • 2002

    JSK, Jr. died on July 26

  • 2003

    Republic expands into the Geo-Thermal HVAC market

  • 2003

    Republic establishes a facility in Dubuque, Iowa

    the first of its now 3 branch locations

  • 2006

    Republic expands into the energy management and lighting retrofit market

  • 2008

    Republic partners with Johnson Controls

    and begins distributing York and Luxaire residential and commercial HVAC equipment

  • 2010

    Republic establishes Cedar Rapids, Iowa location

  • 2011

    Republic becomes the back-to-back winner of the prestigious national “IMARK Electrical Distributor of the Year” award

    2010 & 2011 Winner

  • 2014

    Republic acquires Yeomans Distribution and expands to Peoria, Illinois

  • 2016

    Republic celebrates its 100 years in business!