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17. Inland Asphalt Co. - Founded 1934

The original four owners of Inland Asphalt Co. Charlie Chlute, Walt Collingwood, Jack Sheer and Mike Rider started the business in 1934, operating an asphalt plant in Spokane. Eventually, two Inland employees, Charly Powers and George Swannack, working for the original four owners, acquired ownership through retirements and stock sales.

In the mid-1950s, Inland purchased a new asphalt plant. It operated near Inland's original site at 12th and Carnahan in Spokane.

Inland Asphalt workers
An early photo of Inland Asphalt's yard shows workers, managers and trucks.
Two employees, Robert Carroll and Don Tiede, while working for Powers and Swannack, had discussed leaving Inland and starting their own company. Instead, Powers and Swannack sold half of their interest to Carroll and Tiede in 1961 to keep them on board.

In that same year, Swannack died tragically in a car accident in north Spokane and Powers retired, leaving Carroll and Tiede as joint owners.

During this ownership, Inland vastly grew with fixed operations in Spokane, Coeur d'Alene and Kellogg, Idaho, along with four portable asphalt plants operating in Washington, Idaho, Montana and Oregon.

Again two employees, Walt Hedlund and James Etter Jr., became owners when they acquired Tiede's interest in 1977 upon his retirement. Carroll, Hedlund and Etter continued to expand Inland by adding a portable crushing operation to the eight asphalt plants already in operation.

The string of employee ownership ceased in 1981 when Central Premix Development Corp. bought out Carroll, Hedlund and Etter's interest in Inland. The president of Central at that time, Michael K. Murphy, is currently CEO of Central and also president of Inland Asphalt.

In the 1980s and 1990s, Inland has downsized somewhat with a fixed operation in Spokane along with two portable asphalt plants and one portable crushing plant.

The most recent change in Inland's ownership took place in 1997, when Oldcastle Materials, the American arm of crh of Dublin, Ireland, acquired not only Inland Asphalt, but also its parent, Central Premix Development. After Oldcastle's Acquisition, the previous management team remains intact today.

Inland presently produces about 500,000 tons of asphalt annually with sales volumes averaging $25 million. Inland employs about 125.

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