Builders Sand & Cement Company was founded as Builders Sand & Gravel by German immigrant Hans Goos in 1853 as a sand supply company servicing the Davenport area. Sand and gravel were taken off sand bars and islands in the river and transported using a flatboat propelled with pike poles. Sand could then be loaded on wagons pulled by horses for delivery around the Davenport area. Builders soon upgraded the pike pole boats to sailboats, allowing longer trips to distant locales such as Hampton, IL and Muscatine.
During the 1860’s, Builders was an integral material supplier for the construction of the Rock Island Arsenal, and soon after a side-wheel steam engine became the preferred source of locomotion for the Builders river fleet. In 1903, under the direction of Hans Goos, Jr, a new company was formed named Builders Lime & Cement. The two companys eventually merged to become Builders Sand & Cement. With it’s newfound diversification, Builders continued to grow and played a large part in the construction of dams, locks, and bridges on the Mississippi River in the 1930’s. In 1932 the company was acquired by an employee named Miss Ethel Delarue. Miss Delarue became a very influential member of the community, even to the point that all West Point applicants in the Quad Cities had to interview with her. The Builders steam engine, The Lone Star, became a bit of an icon around the Quad Cities and is available to tour at her permanent dock in LeClaire, IA. The 1950’s brought radical change to the company as Builders began producing Ready Mix concrete, utilizing an original fleet of three mixers. The company was sold to Alter Co. after Miss Delarue’s passing. She had worked for the company for 75 years, and had completely shaped the business during that time.
In 1991, Builders was sold to Ira Weindruch who set up a new, automated batch plant on the river in downtown Davenport. In 1997, ownership of the company was sold to Brian Hahn, whose family owns Hahn Ready Mix. In 2006, Builders’ long lease on the Davenport riverfront was ended by the City and Builders relocated to River Drive and Fairmount Street on the west end. At this location, the company built a state of the art, central mix style plant that allows us to be more accurate and efficient than ever before, delivering uniformity and consistency at a totally new standard. Today Builders Sand and Cement is still hard at work living up to the high standards set by generations of employees and owners like Hans Goos and Miss Delarue.