Seither & Cherry hits 150 years

Small tin shop in a 1872 now regional player in construction field


Seither & Cherry Co. celebrated it’s 150th anniversary in business with a celebration Wednesday at Victory Park in Keokuk, Iowa.

Seither & Cherry Co. is a multi-discipline contractor providing structural steel erection, heavy rigging, electrical service, piping, conveyor installation, mechanical installation, equipment installation, carpentry, industrial concrete and industrial maintenance services throughout the Midwest. They specialize in working in industrial settings. Their family of companies also includes Tri-State Sheet Metal and McDowell Crane & Rigging. Tri-State Sheet Metal provides custom sheet metal fabrication, installation of ventilation and dust collection systems, equipment lining services, tank fabrication and more. McDowell Crane & Rigging offers short term and long term crane rentals.

Seither & Cherry Co. didn’t always offer such a wide range of services. Seither & Cherry Co. started as just a small tin shop in 1872. Back then, Seither & Cherry tinners crafted coffee pots, lunch pails, boilers and cream separators. They also installed and serviced warm air furnaces.

Seither & Cherry Co. then evolved to building ovens for the curing of foam rubber. Ovens were designed and built in sections in the back shop of 25 S. 5th Street, Keokuk, and shipped by truck to customers’ plants. There they were assembled like erector sets, with every part numbered so it would go together correctly.  After only a few years into this venture, DuPont developed the additive TVI for rubber curing, resulting in polyurethane no longer needing to be cured in ovens. All of Seither & Cherry Co.’s orders were canceled. Calling themselves “technologically displaced” in the rubber curing industry, that part of the business essentially faded away and Seither & Cherry Co. transitioned into mass production of sheet metal ductwork.

Through the years as the services they provided evolved and changed, so did the ownership of Seither & Cherry Co. When the Seither family decided to sell in 1948, local businessmen, John Marion and Will Davis purchased the company and ran the business until 1975. Marion always had a passion for journalism and wrote many newspaper articles while owning Seither & Cherry Co.. One such article was featured in the Wall Street Journal and ultimately garnered the interest of a large national general contractor, Vogt & Conant, who then purchased Seither & Cherry Co. since they were looking to expand into the Midwest.

In the 1980’s Seither & Cherry Co. was sold by Vogt & Conant to an ownership team consisting of Bob Alspaugh, Mike Azinger, Bill Bergman, and Larry Dideriksen. Alspaugh and Dideriksen left company ownership during the 1990’s with Azinger and Bergman remaining as majority owners. In 2005, Chris Azinger and Paul Schulte acquired majority ownership of Seither & Cherry Co. and are still the owners to date.

In their local area, Seither & Cherry Co. is probably best known by their signature red trucks. The tradition of the Seither & Cherry Co. signature red trucks can be traced back to the 1950s. The logo back then was similar to the current one and the fleet could be seen traveling all over the tri-state area just as it can be spotted doing now. 

The company moved to its current location at 2537 Henkel Avenue in Keokuk, Iowa in 1978. Seither & Cherry Co. currently has about 20 office employees and 150 employees in the field.

Paul Schulte, Seither and Cherry Co., celebration, milestone, 150 years, construction, business, news, Pen City Current


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