As the business development and area operations manager for Source Energy MidCon, Hi Lewis is a fourth-generation Wichitan.
And each of the last four local Lewises included a Hiram W. Lewis.
But he never really appreciated what his roots meant until he worked at his worst job.
“I had a job cutting grass in Maple Grove Cemetery, and I was terribly allergic to grass and mold and dust. I didn’t understand why my parents didn’t … well, I was doing my job and dying every day.”
One day he was trimming around a gravestone, glanced at the name and was shocked to see his own name. He hadn’t realized his great-grandfather, a pioneer who came to Wichita from Ohio in the 1870s, was buried there.
“It was spooky as a 15- or 16-year-old to see that while cutting the grass,” he said.
His allergies haven’t kept him inside exclusively. He’s spent his career in the oil and gas industry beginning in the early 1970s. For the past year, he has run Source Energy’s horizontal drilling operation in Kansas.