Karlstad will get a facelift this summer. Kittson County and the city of Karlstad have planned street improvement projects for the community. Hired to complete the work is Davidson Construction & Redi-Mix of Holt (and Agassiz Asphalt LLC, which is a division of Davidson).
The North Star News visited with Kevin and Patty Davidson recently to learn about them, the history of the company and the current work of the company.
Kevin is the son of Ronnie Davidson, who started what is now Davidson Construction & Redi-Mix, in 1966, as a very young man. (Today Ronnie Davidson owns Sunset Lodge at Oak Island). Kevin began working for the company at age thirteen, “laboring on a gravel crusher.”
Today, working in leadership of the company, he says he enjoys “the challenge” of the work, adding that they encounter something different every week. He also enjoys dealing with and meeting people.
Patty, who started working for the company in 2003, and deals with everything from accounts receivable to preparing subcontracts, said she likes being able to work with her husband and the freedom of the job. She especially appreciated that freedom while rearing a family and coaching.
Kevin and Patty provided a booklet, created for the 50th anniversary of the company in 2016, which details the growth of the company.
The first page reads, “When Ronnie was in high school, he began working in the summers operating a dragline for Herb Reese Construction. Upon graduating from Marshall County Central High School in 1965, he worked for Sellin Brothers located in Detroit Lakes operating dragline. A year later, in 1966, he decided to make a go of it on his own and purchased the Holt Co-op Creamery from Oscar Nyflot for $1,000 to convert into his shop, which still stands today. He then purchased a Bucyrus Eric 22B dragline with Emmett McDonagh and the McDonagh-Davidson Company was then in business.”
The business has continued to grow and change since that time. Ronnie bought out McDonagh’s portion of the company in 1968. In 1973, He and his brother-in-law, Ted Kruta, bought a ready-mix plant in Wolverton, Minnesota and the company became Davidson-Kruta Ready Mix. A couple of years later, Ronnie bought out Kruta’s portion of the company and it secured its current name.
Some company highlights over the years included their first job near Gull Lake in Brainerd digging boat channels, installing water lines for the Old Mill project in 1972, completing their first road construction job in 1980 in Williams, Minnesota, completing concrete work for Wal-Mart in 2006 and completing the Roseau Flood Diversion Project for the United States Army Corps in 2012.
Adding paving services is a recent development of the company; they started Agassiz Asphalt LLC in 2017. More recently, they purchased Wells Concrete west of St. Hilaire and built a new maintenance facility south of Holt.
See the full story in the June 11 issue of the North Star News.