A.H. Smith and Sons Concrete once stood at Post and Butler streets as an image of industry in downtown Marietta. Now vague remnants of concrete structures are all that remain at the original location of the business Albert Howard Smith started in 1922.
The "sons" were Howard Dewey Smith, father of Richard Smith, 91, who is a current resident of The Pines at Glenwood, and Clarence Smith who left the business in the late 1930s.
"My uncle went to work for the A&P Tea Company on Third Street," recalled Dick Smith. "He was the first manager."
Photo submitted by Dan Benson/Memories of Marietta Facebook page
This photo circa 1950 shows A.H. Smith & Son Concrete as it stood on the east side of the Muskingum River, where the Marietta Harbor is now.
Photos submitted by Sue Smith
Company founder Albert Howard “A.H.” Smith is shown holding his infant grandson Richard “Dick” Smith, alongside his wife, Lucy Buck Smith. Dick Smith, now 91, is a current resident of The Pines at Glenwood.
A.H. Smith & Son promotional materials included these matchbooks and lighter.
From then on, it was known as A.H. Smith and Son.
"It was started as a sand and gravel builders supply. My grandfather was a bricklayer - he laid bricks at the post office, Washington School and what is now a (Marietta College) classroom on Sixth and Putnam," Smith said.
Wooden sand and gravel bins were replaced by tanks after Howard Smith took over the company. After returning from the service during World War II, Dick Smith took on duties with the family business, including everything from working in the office answering phones to lifting bags of sand.
At a glance
Employs 33 people, operates 23 mixer trucks locally.
Smith Concrete also has locations in Belpre, Athens, Cambridge, Coshocton, Dover, Mt. Eaton, Carrollton, Cadiz and Zanesville.
Contact: www.shellyco.com or (800) 371-7441
Founded in 1922 as A.H. Smith & Son.
Previously located at Post and Butler streets (near the Harmar Railroad Bridge) and across the river in Harmar, near the school.
Founder's grandson, Dick Smith, sold the business in 1971.
Moved to current location at 26650 Ohio 7 in 1971.
Robert Price and family sold the business in 2002.
Currently operates as a division of The Shelly Company (www.shellyco.com).
Dick Smith sold the A.H. Smith and Son business to Price and Patterson, based in Chesterhill, in 1971 and eventually the location was moved to Ohio 7 near Reno, where it is currently located.
"We decided to sell because business wasn't very good," Smith said.
After the sale, Smith said he didn't much keep up with how the company progressed.
However, 92 years later, his family's namesake is still part of the company known as Smith Concrete.
From the 1970s until 2002, the Price family owned Smith Concrete and in 2002 Robert Price sold it to the Shelly Company, headquartered in Thornville. The parent company of The Shelly Company is Oldcastle, an Irish company. The company offers asphalt, limestone, ready mix and sand and gravel products.
"In the past 20 years, Smith Concrete has grown from three plants in Marietta, Belpre and Cambridge to 10 locations," said Ross Snyder, who has been with the company since 1994. "There have been some changes, not good or bad, just changes that come from going from a small family-owned business to a large international company."
Smith Concrete currently operates 23 mixer trucks and employs 33 people, including many veteran drivers, between locations in both Marietta and Belpre. Smith Concrete has also grown to include plants in Athens, Belpre, Cambridge, Coshocton, Dover, Mt. Eaton, Carrollton, Cadiz and Zanesville.
Some of the trucks carry a very important message along with the product in an effort to continue its belief in positive community relations.
"A few years ago we began partnering with organizations to help raise awareness for various causes," said Catherine Wolfe, with the Shelly Company. "Our theme trucks have been very well received and serve as moving bulletin boards in each of our market areas. We're proud to be involved in community events and are often requested to be present at events such as Relay For Life."
Snyder said that he has stayed with the company for 20 years because it is a good company to work for.
"We have built strong relationships over the years by delivering what we promise," he said.