A fifth-generation Cowley-based construction company with roots going back more than 100 years ago was honored March 25 with the Lovell Inc. Trailblazer Award, which recognizes long-time local businesses.
Wilson Brothers Construction was presented the award during the Lovell Area Chamber of Commerce Community Banquet.
In introducing the award, Lovell Inc. Executive Director Elaine Harvey said Lovell Inc. is dedicated to helping people start new businesses and to help them develop a full and robust business plan so when they start a business, “they will be on the road to success,” but she said Lovell Inc. also recognizes and supports businesses that are currently alive and well in the Lovell area.
“Our Trailblazer Award has been given to people who generationally have contributed to our community,” she said before reading a history of the company.
George Boyd Wilson and Charles Arthur Welch started Wilson-Welch Construction around 1810, specializing in building roads and digging ditches for farmers. Later, George’s sons Raymond Wesley and Howard Desmond Wilson managed the construction company until 1940.
In 1948 Ray’s son Charles Arthur Wilson created C.A. Wilson Construction, which specialized in building retention ponds for cattle ranchers and leveling fields for farmers. Later, the company expanded into building sewer lagoons for towns and cities.
Charles’ sons Boyd, Wes, Kim and John began working alongside their father when they were very young and by 1975 took over the day-to-day duties of the company. They also branched out into mine reclamation, heavy highway construction and building mining roads.
The brothers went their separate ways from 1987 to 1999, but in ’99 Wes and Kim decided to bring back the family business. C.W. Wilson Construction included Wes, his sons Greg and Danny, Kim, his son Nick, and Kim and Wes’ brother Boyd and started working in South Dakota building logging roads for Wyoming Sawmills. Over the next few years the company specialized in logging roads, retaining walls and campgrounds.
In 2003 John joined his brothers and the company was reincorporated as Wilson Brothers Construction, Inc.
Wilson Brothers’ business has been built on a wide range of jobs and recent projects including building sewer lagoons, pipe lining, heavy highway work, landslide repair and underground municipal infrastructure. Since 2003 the company has three times doubled in size based on revenue. The company currently has 40 full-time employees, with the number jumping to 60-plus during the peak construction season.
In 2013 Wilson Brothers was awarded the Rocky Mountain Region Public Works Project of the Year by the American Public Works Association.
The fifth generation now includes Wes’ son Daniel, who has been with the company since its inception, his daughter Megan, who joined the company in 2016, Boyd’s son Mike, who joined the company in 2006 after years of gaining experience working in various types of construction, and Kim’s son Nick, who returned to Cowley in 2012 as a professional engineer after attending college and working for PCL Construction.
Wilson Brothers Construction, Inc. has become a sought after contractor, Harvey said, and continues their tradition of being a solid, dependable company into the fifth generation. With more than 20 grandchildren and a handful of great-grandchildren, the Wilson brothers are excited about the prospect of carrying on the construction legacy into the sixth generation and beyond, Harvey said.
Kim Wilson accepted the award on behalf of his family. He thanked the chamber and the people of Lovell “that put up with us as we messed up your lives (with infrastructure projects)” many times. “But you have a wonderful town,” he added. “Thank you.”
By David Peck