This year, J.F. Brennan Company, Inc. marks our 100th year as a family-owned contracting firm. We are proud to join the ranks of centurion companies who survived and succeeded during times of monumental change. We grew from our humble beginnings on the northeast Iowa frontier to become a change leader using innovation and technology to work more safely and efficiently.
We understand the value of adaptation, but we also recognize the importance of retaining who we have always been as a company: our values, our strong culture, and the way we do business remains the same. Hard work is what we did when we started and it’s what we continue to do today. We stay true to our handshake and we deliver on our promises.
After all, we may be 100 years old, but we’re just getting started.
Two grandsons of an Irish immigrant grow up on a family homestead outside Lansing, IA. With entrepreneurship in their blood from birth, they complete 8th grade and begin an informal partnership pouring concrete floors in milk barns, threshing oats, and operating a sawmill. Locally, they become known as the Brennan Brothers.
Jim and Gene decide to formalize their working relationship and begin a contracting company called Brennan Brothers Construction. For their first project, they build a small county bridge near Wexford, IA; they charge $97 for the job. Their initial work equipment consisted of an old Ford Model T pickup truck and a couple of shovels.
A new fabrication company, River Steel, is formed as subsidiary of J.F. Brennan Company when La Crosse Trailer Company closes its doors after a century in business. Many former employees of La Crosse Trailer join River Steel; the business grows quickly after securing a fabrication contract with Bucyrus Erie to build housing for large mining equipment.
Jim Brennan passes away. Ralph Brennan is elected the 2nd President of J.F. Brennan Company and Roger Binsfeld becomes President of River Steel. The two work closely to run both businesses.
J.F. Brennan Company opens a Northeast Regional Office outside of Boston, MA to pursue environmental and construction work along the eastern corridor of the United States.
J.F. Brennan Company and Brennan Marine enter our second century of operation with a record backlog of work and a long list of meaningful partnerships. We focus on five primary markets: Environmental Services, Marine Construction, Dam Construction, Railroad Construction, and Harbor Services. Our fleet of equipment includes both large-scale and portable marine assets, as well as hi‑rail and specialty construction equipment. Our staff of more than 450 marine professionals, including 50 divers certified by the Association of Diving Contractors International (ADCI), know our work and have experience solving complex challenges above and below water.
We are more than a contractor. We are a resource for our clients, doing our best work so that they can do theirs … yesterday, today, and tomorrow.