Business & Professional
Ira Weaver founded the Weaver Popcorn Company in 1928, delivering popcorn by horse-drawn wagon. But his son, Welcome Weaver, brought the Van Buren-based company to prominence after he joined the family business in 1945. Today, Weaver Popcorn is distributed to more than 90 countries worldwide.
Welcome Weaver earned a bachelor’s degree from Manchester in 1937, a Master’s in chemistry from Syracuse University in 1939 and a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh In 1943. When he returned to Huntington County to join Weaver Popcorn, he was active in numerous local efforts. He was active with Trinity United Methodist Church and served on the United Methodist Northern Indiana Conference's Committee of Episcopacy, was a member of its Board of Trustees, was a member and chairman of its Foundation, and chaired its campaign to raise money for ministers' pensions. Weaver also was a member of the United Methodist Church's North Central Jurisdictional Conferences, and the church's General Conferences on multiple occasions.
Weaver was president of the YMCA, YMCA Foundation, United Way and Kiwanis. During his tenure on the Huntington County school board, he was instrumental in consolidation of nine township schools into one school corporation in the late 1960s.
He remained active in the popcorn business with his wife, Adah, and was treasurer of the National Association of Concessionaires, and was president of the Popcorn Institute. Weaver was active in the company until 1998.
Despite Welcome Weaver’s death on June 3, 2003, the Weaver Popcorn Company remains in the family, with the fourth generation of Weavers overseeing production.