About Geo. Gradel Co.

George GradelIn 1903, Geo. Gradel Co. was started by its namesake, Mr. George Gradel. At the time, Geo. Gradel Co. specialized in earthmoving. The mode of operation in 1903 was horse drawn wagons, board scrapers, teamsters to handle the horses, and laborers to load the wagons.

In the mid-20's, the Geo. Gradel Co. bought its first steam shovel and introduced steam-powered excavation to Northwest Ohio. At the time, this was innovative, new technology and it greatly increased job productivity.

Around 1927, George Gradel retired and turned the corporate leadership over to his son, Norm. Young Norm Gradel expanded Geo. Gradel Co. through very trying economic times including The Great Depression. The company utilized its assets and technological know-how to provide excavation and earthmoving expertise to Northwest Ohio building owners, site developers, utility owners and governmental agencies.

Geo. Gradel Co. performed excavation contracts for owners of most of the buildings erected in Downtown Toledo, including to name a few, the Toledo Trust Building, Owens-Illinois Tower (now the Fifth Third Bank Building), Owens Corning, Libbey-Owens-Ford, Tiedtkes Department Store, Lions Store, Lampson's Department Store, Toledo Edison Acme Station, and Spitzer Arcade.

During this period, Geo. Gradel Co. purchased many steam-powered and then diesel-powered pieces of heavy equipment including cranes for dragline and clam bucket work, and a fleet of bulldozers and dump trucks.

In 1973, John F. Gradel Sr., assumed the corporate leadership of Geo. Gradel Co. and has expanded the company's horizons with the addition of marine facilities. The gradual growth of the marine fleet has made the Geo. Gradel Co. one of the largest marine contractors in Ohio for work on the Great Lakes. With John Gradel as 3rd generation ownership, the present day management includes 4th generation family and more recently includes 5th tier generation as part of the work force.