The story of Town Pump Inc. begins with a single hand-operated water pump in the ranching community of Helmville, Montana. The time was the 1930's and Tom Kenneally Sr. was a young boy growing up in Helmville when he took notice of the town's only hand-operated water pump. Because it was not feasible for each household to have its own pump, nor was electricity available, the people of Helmville, in the spirit of togetherness, shared one water pump to satisfy their needs for water. Everyone in this friendly town, as well as visiting ranchers depended on the water pump. It was a vital necessity for the survival of the community. The "town pump" as it was called, was fully equipped with a drinking cup, two water buckets and a large trough for horses. It had to operate properly without regard to darkness, snow and drought because water was needed for everyone, every day of the year.  The "town pump" always did its duty for anyone in need.

In 1953, Tom Kenneally Sr. and his wife Mary went into business for themselves by building and running a gas station in Butte, Montana. What should they call the business? Why not "Town Pump"! The thinking was that even though they were pumping gas instead of water, the goals were similar. The new Town Pump had to operate in a dependable manner, had to satisfy people’s needs, and would be an important part of the community.  So the Town Pump gas station became a tribute to the hand operated water pump of Helmville, Montana.