Vance Brothers purchased Street Oil Company in 1953. During the late 1950s they ran it as Table Rock Asphalt and did small chip and seal jobs, water line jobs and started a small ready mix concrete operation. The late 1950s saw the addition of a silo so bulk cement could be brought in by railcar and a 10’X12’ office was built at the RR tracks on Commercial Street.
In May of 1961 Harles Simmons took over as manager of what was then a ten employee operation. His first order of business was to clean up the existing equipment and that resulted in $15,000 of expense that year that put the company in the red. Later in 1961 the company put it’s first barge in Lake Taneycomo to start dredging sand and gravel to use as aggregate and for sale. The early 60s saw most of the contractors start using ready mix concrete for footings and for foundations which put the ready mix operation on a “sound footing”. The plant at that time was an operation with a skip hopper that the drivers slid under the bin, filled the hopper and slid it over to dump in the mixer. That procedure was repeated until the required amounts were in the mixer.
1962 saw the addition of land for a shop near the office and on December 21, 1962 the company was incorporated as Table Rock Asphalt Construction Co., Inc. by Harold Vance, Leonard Vance and Harles Simmons.
The first pieces of property were purchased on Hwy 248 in 1963 and 1964 for what would become limestone Quarry #1. The demand for concrete aggregate was exceeding what the dredging operation could produce and a gradual change to limestone aggregate took place. The demand for aggregates continued to increase as development on Table Rock Lake increased in the sixties.
An old boat dock and property near the RR bridge was purchased in 1966 and a 1 Ton Hot Mix batch plant was constructed as the asphalt operation added the installation of Hot Mix surfaces to its services. The continued growth of The Kimberling City area prompted the placement of Quarry #2 on Hwy 76 a mile east of Hwy 13 in 1968.
In 1970 it was agreed to purchase a used ready mix plant to replace the old skip hopper plant in downtown Branson. Harold Vance and Harles Simmons both purchased used plants on the same day, which resulted in one plant being moved to Sycamore Street in Branson and the other being operated in Savannah, Mo. for a few years before being sold. Land in Lakeview (now Branson West) was purchased in 1972 and a ready mix plant was opened there. As the two operations grew the truck fleet was expanded to serve both areas. The first underground mining was completed at Quarry #1 in 1971 and 1972 as an area was shot out for and underground shop. A warehouse and storage area was later added and joined to the shop and still serves the company today. The constant year around temperature of about 65 degrees demonstrated the usefulness of the mined out space.
In 1977 the sand and gravel operation had to move from leased land which prompted the purchase of a larger asphalt plant to be installed at Quarry #1 and the moving of the gravel plant to the property by the RR bridge on Lake Taneycomo where the original hot mix plant had been.
Next an existing ready mix plant on Hwy OO near Kimberling City was purchased in 1979 and it served the area until 1984 when 210 acres was purchased north of Kimberling City on Hwy 13. Quarry #3 was opened on that property with the addition of a concrete plant at that location. Quarry #2, the Lakeview plant and the OO Hwy plant were all replaced by the new location. The Branson Ready Mix plant was extensively remodeled in 1981 with the addition of updated additive capabilities, additional material storage and the first computer batching system in the lakes area.
The first production underground mining was started in 1983 and in 1984 crushing equipment was purchased so the company could control the quality of aggregate it used and sold. The underground allowed the mine to stay in proven seams of rock and provided consistent materials as well as preserved most of the surface of the property in an area where the beauty of the area was a big part of the economy.
The early 90s brought the Branson “Boom” and the company added the first new ready mix plant as well as the first new crushing equipment at Quarry #1. A larger asphalt plant was also added at Quarry #1 and the fleet of mixers and dump trucks was enlarged. In a few years the company had added several times the total investment in equipment up until that time.
The size and complexity of the jobs grew. Ready Mix was supplied for highway bridges, concrete water towers, multi-story parking garages, major hospital expansions and numerous theatres and multi-story motels. The company and employees attained a level of expertise that is unusual in small population areas.
A new company was formed in 1992 (Southwest Materials, Inc) and a ready mix operation was opened in Ozark, MO at Hwy CC and US Hwy 65. The addition of that plant allows the company to serve the rapidly expanding home market in that area and gives the company added flexibility with the additional trucks available at all locations as needed.
The two companies now employ in excess of 120 people and the growth in the skills and expertise of these people along with the constant philosophy and ethics of the ownership are the solid foundation that will allow the company to serve the needs of the entire area for many years to come.