It’s not every day you find a family business that’s been around for five generations. At Anderson Concrete, we’ve built upon the strength and resilience of our family heritage to provide 100 years of service to the City of Columbus and all of central Ohio.
Walter Earnest (W.E.) Anderson founded the company with eldest son Willis in 1921. W.E. Anderson & Son Trucking Company, as we were called in those days, started with a single truck—hauling sand and gravel exclusively for American Aggregates Corporation from a home base on Harmon Ave in Columbus. Responsible growth laid a firm foundation for our family business to thrive.
Anderson was not immune to the effects of the Great Depression but stayed resilient. As the second generation of Andersons joined the family business, we began to shift from a trucking and hauling company to a ready-mix concrete company amid the pre-World War II building boom. Our fleet grew, we bought our first Jaeger concrete mixers, and we built the first batch plants to meet demand.
As many employees went off to war, Anderson answered a call of duty on the Homefront by supplying concrete solutions for DCSC Army Depot and Lockbourne Air Force Base (now Rickenbacker). We hauled sand, gravel and ready-mix concrete faithfully until the post-war economic boom brought new demand with agricultural, utility, and housing companies.
Business boomed along with housing and community development efforts for Anderson as families were reunited after the war. Ready-mix concrete became the focus of the company, and the company changed its name to Anderson Concrete Corporation in 1954. Mixers held up to five cubic yards of material and communication improved with two-way radios, which were groundbreaking innovations at the time.
The times were changing—and Anderson stayed steady. A fleet of 75 mixer trucks and 25 dump trucks paved the way into a new way of life for central Ohio. New homes, schools, and shopping centers were built to house a new generation of post-war baby boomers and downtown Columbus expansion hit a new construction high. Anderson Concrete was up for the challenge.
The first real recession hit central Ohio since the 1930s, but Anderson knew the work was still there for those who were willing. That solid work ethic payed off with slow but continued company growth, plenty of commercial work, and a new headquarters at 400 Frank Road. Acquisitions of companies in the surrounding market areas welcomed new faces into the Anderson family.
Competition was fierce as the economic slump continued. The fourth generation of Andersons found a sweet spot in residential housing—homes, streets and sewers. To keep pace, Anderson embraced new technologies that led to computerized records, product innovations, and efficiency measures. We were privileged to supply concrete to some of the most prominent landmarks in the city of Columbus, including hospitals, airports, hotels and other buildings downtown and on The Ohio State University’s Campus.
On the heels of the recession, Anderson bounced back in a big way. Computerization of batch plants changed everything, dramatically improving quality control and production efficiency. Better communication led to more innovation and we wrapped the decade with some of the busiest years in company history.
The residential housing boom made way for a fierce recession throughout the nation. But amid the ups and downs, Anderson stayed steady with commercial, community and healthcare projects. New EPA regulations led us to invest in our first trucks with compliant exhaust systems that would revolutionize the fleet.
Anderson rose up to meet the needs of a rapidly recovering economy. Our on-site lab allowed us to test and develop new concrete mixes. The heavyweight concrete used to build the radiation vaults at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center was the heaviest concrete ever to be produced in North America at that time. As the fifth generation of Andersons joined the company, new builds and renovations kept us busy across the city. Anderson was able to give back in a big way with enhanced community involvement and philanthropy.
The unique challenges of 2020 helped us tap into the collective strength of our company. Standing firm even through a global pandemic, our vision is clear and our priorities are in order. We have further developed our mix designs in the lab to make our concrete stronger than ever. As we approach 100 years in business in 2021, we are eager to start building for the next century as a family business on a mission.