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A Brief History of McDowells:
In the early 1850ís, the Ellis family moved to the Vinton area.  Cornelius and Hoyt Ellis engaged in the contracting and erecting of buildings.  In 1864, Cornelius and Hoyt founded Ellis Brothers Lumberyard. Hoyt soon left the Vinton area and Cornelius and his son, W.C., founded a partnership as C. Ellis and Son, in 1875.

L.J. McDowell came to Vinton in 1929 and was hired to manage the lumberyard.  L.J. bought into the business in 1935.  A partnership was created in 1938 with L.J. McDowell and Ard Hoyt Ellis, grandson of founder W.C. Ellis, to form Ellis McDowell Lumber Company.

In September of 1951, a ľ block of the lumberyard burned to the ground.  Jack McDowell, son of L.J., designed and rebuilt part of the lumberyard which was completed in 1952.  Soon after the grand opening, owner L.J. McDowell died unexpectedly.  Jack McDowell then came home from the service to manage the lumberyard after his fatherís death.  Jack McDowell became sole owner in 1961.  The Ellis name was dropped and became McDowells Inc. in 1969.

Jack McDowell retired in 1992 and sold the business to Larry & Linda Druschel. Larry has been with the lumberyard since 1964 and Linda since 1968.  Today McDowells Building Materials employs approximately a dozen people. They serve Benton County residents as well as the Cedar Rapids area with all their building needs.

420 2nd Avenue - Vinton, Iowa  52349   |   Phone:  319-472-2363   |   Fax:  319-472-3639  |  Send An Email

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