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Ed Waylander left the family farm in Grove City, Minnesota in 1933, to move to Minneapolis, where he founded the Waylander-Peterson Steel Erection Company. Ed’s business enjoyed many successful years, traveling the country to erect bridges, buildings and power plants. This was the start of a family tradition that continues today as Sowles Co.

Larry Sowles came home from World War II, where he served as a Corsair F4-U pilot on the Pacific Front, to his new bride Coralis Waylander and to the family business. Larry gained valuable experience working for Waylander-Peterson Steel Erection Company. Larry’s vision, to own his own company, became a reality when he founded L.H. Sowles Co. in 1961, after Waylander-Peterson Steel Erection Company was dissolved.

L.H. Sowles Co. began in Larry’s basement. As the company grew, it moved to a small building in South Minneapolis, near downtown. In 1968, Larry was able to negotiate the steel erection contract for the IDS Tower (57 Story Structural Steel Project), in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This magnificent office building rises hundreds of feet above the Minneapolis skyline.

Since this time, Sowles Co. has participated in every major high-rise project in the Minneapolis and St. Paul area, as well as power plants, medical buildings, government and military projects throughout the Midwest. Sowles Co. has also erected numerous long span and special structures, such as sports arenas, convention centers and aircraft maintenance hangers.

Larry named his son, Dan, as President of Sowles Co. in 1990. Dan has a long history with the company, working since 1972 in various capacities – yard hand, crane operator and ironworker before moving into the office. Dan’s earlier experience has benefited him as he progressed into supervision and management responsibilities. Dan is continuing the tradition started in 1933.

Sowles Co. now serves the entire Upper Midwest, The Rocky Mountain Area, The Pacific Northwest and Alaska.

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Larry Sowles