McDONOUGH Corporation

Company History- McDonough Corporation

The McDonough Corporation owes its success to the man who founded the company and laid the groundwork for the philosophy of the organization, Bernard P. McDonough. Mr. McDonough's passion for business, his work ethic and integrity, his ability to identify opportunities to expand and cultivate his business holdings, and his talent for recognizing leaders for key management roles, remain cornerstones for the business philosophy of the McDonough Corporation to this day.

The history of the McDonough Corporation dates back to the late 1920's when Bernard P. McDonough entered the construction industry in Parkersburg, West Virginia. After erecting several houses and apartment buildings in Parkersburg, Mr. McDonough turned his attention to building gas stations for Texaco, Standard Oil and Sun Oil. While Mr. McDonough's investments in gas station construction proved successful, he continued to explore other ways to expand the scope of his business.

During World War II, Mr. McDonough subcontracted at the port of New Orleans to build docks and slips where landing ships to serve in the war effort were to be fabricated. During this exposure to the marine business, Mr. McDonough gained an appreciation for the marine barge industry. He made several investments in barges during the 1950's, and began a barge leasing business that is still the key venture for McDonough Corporation today.

Throughout the 1940's, 50's and 60's, Mr. McDonough expanded his holdings to include several other businesses with ties to construction, mining and exploration. Some of Mr. McDonough's key ventures and acquisitions included the formation of Houston Shell and Concrete in 1945, and later Gulf Coast Portland Cement. Mr. McDonough went on to purchase several competing businesses creating a cement, aggregate and ready-mix concrete conglomerate business that consisted of 15 production facilities, and over 175 concrete trucks. Additionally, several sand and gravel companies were purchased by Mr. McDonough in the Pittsburgh area operating under the heading of the Iron City-Ohio River Corporation. In the late 1950's Mr. McDonough formed Parkersburg-Aetna, which was a combination of two acquired companies that built oil well pumping units, drilling rigs, and oil field equipment.

Mr. McDonough also made major inroads into manufacturing with the acquisition of two nationally recognized companies. O. Ames Company, one of the nation's leading shovel and hand tool manufacturers, was acquired by Mr. McDonough in 1955. Then, in the 1960's Mr. McDonough began to purchase shares of the Endicott Johnson Shoe Company, eventually gaining a 100% interest of a corporation that at one time employed 19,000 people, and operated 29 factories with hundreds of retail locations.

Bernard McDonough’s passion for business was rivaled closely by a life-long love of Ireland and her people.  For years he sought an opportunity to intertwine those interests and invest in the country of his heritage. In 1962, he purchased Dromoland Castle, an Ireland landmark originally built in 1480. He spent approximately 1.8 million dollars converting the castle into a luxury hotel. Mr. McDonough's purchase of the Dromoland Castle was followed by the construction of three additional Irish hotels: the Shannon International, the Clare Inn, and the Limerick Inn. McDonough also added an American hotel to his family of properties, the Casa Blanca Inn, located in Scottsdale, Arizona in 1971.

In 1972, the McDonough Company became a public company traded on the American Stock Exchange, and by 1978, McDonough Company shares were being traded on the New York Stock Exchange. The McDonough Company was featured as a Fortune 500 Company several times during this decade.

On January 31, 1981, the stock in McDonough Company was sold to Hanson Trust, Ltd., a British holdings company that was aggressively acquiring industrial and service-type businesses in the early 1980's. Although the publicly traded portion of his business holdings had been sold, Mr. McDonough retained his ownership of the barge company and three of the Irish hotels, and he repurchased his two Houston-based concrete companies. These remaining companies operated under the corporate name of Marmac Corporation following the sale of the McDonough Company stock.

Mr. McDonough stepped down from his leadership role in the early 1980's, and he passed away in 1985 at the age of 82. Following Mr. McDonough's departure, the company continued to evolve, divesting its interests in the hotels and the concrete business, and adding additional investments in manufacturing and equipment leasing companies.

Throughout his lifetime, Mr. McDonough had a love of philanthropy which is best illustrated by his formation of the Bernard McDonough Foundation, a 501(c) (3) private foundation located in Parkersburg, West Virginia where Mr. McDonough resided the majority of his life. The McDonough Foundation is well endowed and continues to actively contribute to a variety of causes in a meaningful way throughout the Mid-Ohio Valley.

The McDonough Corporation, in its current form, is a family-owned business consisting of six companies operating in industries ranging from barge rental and marine logistics, construction elevators, wood molding and stair system manufacturing, distribution and installation. Managed from its corporate headquarters in Scottsdale, Arizona, McDonough Corporation's subsidiary companies have sales offices, warehouses and manufacturing facilities located from coast to coast throughout the continental United States.

With solid management, hundreds of dedicated employees, and sound financial backing, McDonough Corporation has enjoyed many decades of sustained success. The company's ability to remain diversified, proactive, and operate largely without debt has allowed McDonough to thrive even during challenging economic times. The McDonough Corporation and its management team are excited about what the future holds for this great American success story.

Back to Top