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Back in the family

image L-R: Three generations, Jed Knowlton, Scott Knowlton, Virgil Knowlton, Sam Knowlton and Shakotah Knowlton

SAN ANTONIO - With a model D grader, a dump truck and a roller made out of a hot water heater, Virgil Knowlton started V.K. Knowlton Construction & Utilities Inc. out of his mother’s garage in 1960. “Granddad would pull the roller he made behind his tractor to flatten base,” says Jed Knowlton, general superin- tendent.




    Though the company prospered for years, as with many companies in the ‘80s, the company fell on rough times.  Around 1982, Tetco Companies acquired 65 percent of the company.  The company continued to be run by Virgil.  “They were more than just a silent investor, they were partners with us.  Tom Turner, Sr. with Tetco and my grandfather worked together doing strip malls.  Mr. Turner really liked my grandfather and when my grandfather fell on hard times he offered to help him.” 
    The company grew substantially during the ‘90s doing everything from state heavy highway work to municipal and commercial to residential.  “Residential is our niche right now,” adds  Knowlton.  “We still do commercial, but we are probably doing 90 percent in the residential market doing work for the big home builders like D.R. Horton, Better Blue, Denton Developments, Pulte and Meritage Homes.”  The company also did oil field energy work during the down turn of the market in 2008.
    In June 2016, the Knowlton family acquired back 100 percent of the company’s shares.  It was a mutual separation from Tetco with whom the V.K. Knowlton had a good relationship with for 25 years.
     Starting out as a site work and paving contractor, the company has since integrated into concrete with a concrete division and utilities.
    After retiring, Virgil passed the torch on to his sons, Sam and Scott.  Together with their sons Jed and Shakotah, the company moves forward with great expectations.
    V.K. Knowlton Construction & Utilities Inc. is a site work and utilities subcontractor in San Antonio. -cmw

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Carol Wiatrek meditor@constructionnews.net