Our History

ourhistory_tractors

The roots of Taylor Brothers Construction Company, Inc. reach into the late 1930’s.   Samuel T. “Papa” Taylor made a living by digging basements for residences and selling cut timber throughout Richland County.  Samuel’s two sons, Robert L. and Samuel L. Taylor, began to work with him and learned the excavating business.  In the early 1940’s Robert L. Taylor, along with his wife Mary Clarkson Taylor, purchased two single-axle flatbed dump trucks.  Robert began hauling construction materials for local contractors, and delivering building supplies to the new Myrtle Beach Air Force base.  He then served in the Army attaining the rank of Sergeant during World War II.

roberttaylorIn 1946 Robert returned from the war and resumed his hauling business.  A short time later, his brother Samuel left the Army, and approached Robert about working together. With the support of their wives Mary and Onalee, Robert and Sam founded Taylor Brothers Excavating.  The Brothers joined with “Papa” Taylor and continued to work in Columbia’s downtown area.  Together, they developed their business, growing from residential clearing to commercial excavation in the City’s business district.  In June of 1950, “Papa” Taylor and his two mules were called in to excavate the basement of the National Bellas-Hess department store in downtown Columbia.  His two mule operation moved approximately 12,000 cubic yards of Columbia’s stubborn red clay.  Reminiscent of John Henry, “Papa” Taylor used raw man (and mule) power to move the earth that the tractors of the day could not handle.

samuelltaylorThe sand hills of South Carolina were ready for its first mall in 1958.  That year, Taylor Brothers Excavating completed the grading for Midlands Shopping Center.  Robert’s brother-in law, Eugene Wilbert “E.W.” Clarkson, was the head foreman for Chitwood House Moving, another Richland County based company, until they were sold in 1960.   Robert and Sam purchased much of Chitwoods’ equipment and partnered with “E.W.” to create Taylor Brothers & Clarkson Excavating & House Moving Company.  In 1964, as a subcontractor for the McCrory Construction Company, Robert and Sam dug the basement for the Capstone Building on the University of South Carolina campus.   Taylor Brothers & Clarkson Excavating & House Moving Company made a name for itself in the late 1960’s while moving houses to make way for the new Interstate – 26 as it extended into downtown Charleston.

During the early 1970’s Robert’s two sons, Robert L. Taylor Jr., known as “Butch,” and Kenneth Taylor, joined the company.  Both, Butch and Kenneth, followed in their Mother’s footsteps and attended Benedict College in Columbia.  Upon Wilbert’s retirement and Sam’s untimely death in 1977, the company returned its name to Taylor Brothers Excavating and Grading under the direction of Robert Sr.

By the time of Robert Sr.’s passing in 1981, all five of his sons were contributing to Taylor Brothers’ success.  Robert Jr. and Kenneth joined with their younger brothers – Collier, and twins Ronald and Donald, to form Taylor Brothers’ Construction Company, Inc.  These five Taylor Brothers continued to grow and diversify their business by sub-contracting on highway projects hauling dirt, rock, and roadway material throughout the Carolinas.  Taylor Brothers’ highway experience helped to begin a continuing relationship with the SC Department of Transportation.  During the 1980’s and 90’s Taylor Brothers continued to build their reputation as a quality service provider for the City of Columbia, Richland County, and private sector companies.

Taylor Brothers remains true to its roots, still excavating basements in downtown Columbia.  As recently as 2006, Taylor Brothers completed excavating the basement of the First Citizens Bank on the corner of Main and Gervais Streets, including the underground parking deck and surface level grading.  Robert Jr. and Kenneth are excited to provide Taylor Brothers’ services to their mother’s alma mater by completing the grading and excavation work for the Benedict College Health and Wellness Center.

Excavating and grading is the foundation that is supporting Taylor Brothers’ future growth.  The company is positioned to expand services into Water & Sewer and Demolition Recycling.  Taylor Brothers Construction Company, Inc. is poised to take full advantage of continued economic growth in the Carolinas and the Southeast.

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