Throughout the 1950’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.
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.