In 1979, ten years after the founding of Ripley Construction Company, the Pelican Rapids Press in Otter Tail County, MN published this photo. Pictured are family members and officers Gerald Ripley, Sr., Dave Ripley, Craig Ripley, and John Ripley.
In March of 1969, Ripley's Construction was formed by acquiring a $13,000 equipment loan through Allis-Chalmers Credit, they started business with rented equipment. A shop was constructed on Dave's farm for storage and their first equipment purchase was an R-60 Ditchwitch plow with trencher and trailer, thus paving the way to find their first contract.
With help from Northwestern Bell Telephone manager John Stromberg in Wadena, MN, Ripley's Construction was awarded their first contract for $2,500. The success of this project with careful work, and a little more experience with the bidding process, led to additional and larger contracts with Bell Telephone.
As business increased, more plowing and trenching contracts were awarded. Adding to the list of Minnesota clients were Wickstrom Telephone, Homan Telephone, Otter Tail Power, and Lake Region Electric. As a result, more equipment and employees were added, leading to an eighteen employee company and an equipment lineup of six plows, two trenchers, one main line plow, two backhoes, seven one-ton trucks, two lowboys, four Caterpillars, and a pipe pusher.
Company growth also created a need for a larger shop and office space. Five acres of land was then purchased north of Erhard, MN on US highway 59 and a new 60 by 126 foot building was constructed.
Ripley's was incorporated April 1, 1979 and since then has added additional employees, storage buildings, and in June of 2013 completed construction of a new onsite office facility.
"Believe it or not," it's Ripley's, and we are here to stay!