Wingra Stone Company / Wingra Redi-Mix, Inc.
2975 Kapec Rd., Fitchburg, WI 53719
608 271-5555 (Wingra Stone Company)
608 271-9388 (Wingra Redi-Mix, Inc.)
Stewart Watson, the principal at Barneveld High School in 1928 decided to enter the rock crushing business for summertime construction work. His company was called Stewart Watson Construction and supplied aggregate for county and township roads. As time progressed the business became a full time job with many large projects especially during World War II. This required Watson to acquire aggregate deposits in Dodgeville, Barneveld and Mont Horeb.
With an eye on the large Madison market, the name of the company was changed to Wingra Stone Company in 1949. A couple of years later he purchased a quarry in Fitchburg that allowed him to market directly in the Madison area. This quarry was sold in order to by another quarry in Fitchburg just south of Madison. Even after the stone was exhausted this site remains the location of Wingra’s offices, concrete plants and maintenance facilities.
Also, in the 1950s the Wingra Stone Company found gravel in Verona. This gravel was used to make concrete and in 1959 Watson incorporated Wingra Redi-Mix, Inc.. With the two companies growing steadily over the next 2 decades Watson retired in the 1970s and his son Jim Watson became the president and majority stockholder. His son in law, Robert F. Shea, was named the vice president.
With the recession in the early 1980s, Jim Watson decided to sell his shares to Robert Shea. The companies survived the recession and then flourished with several large construction jobs in Madison. Having obtained the contract to supply 40,000 cubic yards of concrete for the Madison Metropolitan Sewage District Nine Springs Sewer plant, Wingra Redi-Mix, Inc. moved front and center in the production of commercial concrete. Wingra Redi-Mix, Inc. continued to grow in the 1990s and purchased several Redi-Mix companies in the surrounding area.
In 2005, Robert F. Shea retired and his sons Robert M. Shea and Steven C. Shea were named President and Vice President, respectively making the third generation to run the company. Although having to downsize during the 2008 recession, aggressive cost controls helped them survive and they are once again growing with the improved economy