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Lehman-Roberts Co. was founded in 1939 when W.E. Lehman and George B. Roberts purchased the Mississippi and Memphis operations of Carey-Reed Company, a highway construction firm established in 1907 by Mr. Roberts’ brother-in-law. When founding president George Roberts died in 1946, Mr. Lehman assumed executive management of the Company. Retiring in 1972 at the age of 83, Mr. Lehman would be remembered as a man whose indomitable spirit and strong work ethic was admired by all who knew him.
Lehman-Roberts Co. moved from its asphalt plant and executive office on Front Street in downtown Memphis to its current Wilson Street location in 1943. Nearly three decades later, the Company would grow from a single asphalt plant to five operating asphalt plants in the Memphis and Mid-South area. The year 1972 saw further growth for Lehman-Roberts Co. as it became affiliated with Memphis Stone & Gravel Company through common ownership, providing a long-term source of aggregate for its operations.
During the 1970s, Jim Madison, a leader and innovator in the asphalt industry, would drive Lehman-Roberts Co. into modern industry. A Naval Academy graduate and former submarine commander, Mr. Madison was known for his strong leadership and his exceptional ability to inspire confidence in young people. Mr. Madison’s unexpected death in 1976 left the management of the Company to Donald Frazier who would serve as President for the next 22 years. Under Donald Frazier, the Company purchased four asphalt plants from 1979 to 1994 in Hernando, Grenada, Batesville and Friars Point, Mississippi.
Richard C. Moore, Jr. succeeded Mr. Frazier in 1997. His wife, Carey Moore, is the daughter of former President Jim Madison. Under Rick’s leadership, the Company grew to own and operate a total of eight asphalt plants, including six in Mississippi and two in Shelby County. In 2012, Rick focused his attention to his chairmanship of the Board of Directors, promoting Patrick Nelson to President. Pat has been with Lehman-Roberts Co. since 1993, coming up through the ranks over the last twenty years. Pat is married to Catherine, oldest daughter to Rick and Carey.
Now in the fourth generation of ownership, the Madison and Moore families continue to build upon a long tradition of quality, trust and strong managerial leadership that distinguishes it among its competitors in the highway construction industry. After more 78 years in business, Lehman-Roberts Co. is still family-managed and family-owned, and is well poised for many more years of success “paving the Midsouth.”