Meshberger, LICA purchased by Indianapolis-based companies
Aggregates Inc., based out of Indianapolis, recently acquired Meshberger Brothers Stone Corporation. In conjunction with that purpose, Milestone Contractors, LLC, also based out of Indianapolis, purchased LICA Construction.
Carolyn Fryback, daughter of the late Oscar Meshberger, had been serving as president of Meshberger Brothers. In 1968, the company branched off to form LICA Construction Corp.
Caleb Brown, representing Aggregates Inc., noted that the Meshberger firm's name would be changed to the Aggregates name while LICA Construction would take on the name of Milestone Contractors. Both Aggregates and Milestone, said Brown, are actually owned by a parent company, The Heritage Group, also of Indianapolis.
Brown said that both companies would continue to operate with the same personnel employed by the local firms.
"We are very excited about this acquisition. We consider this purchase to be a great asset," said Brown. "We are very excited about working with all of the communities involved.
"The Frybacks (Carolyn and husband, Ron) are very good people. These are very sound businesses. We are very happy about what we gained in this purchase," continued Brown. "The Frybacks trained very good workers. These companies have been involved in their communities."
Meshberger Brothers is a long-standing family-owned business that was founded originally by David Meshberger, son of immigrants from Bern, Switzerland, who established the stone quarry along the Wabash River outside of Linn Grove in the mid-1870s.
By 1907, Meshberger owned 400 acres of the best land in the area. At the same time, his quarry furnished most of the stone used in buildings and roads for miles around the Linn Grove area.
Following his death in 1910, Meshberger's widow, Jane, oversaw the quarry. Then, in 1923, Jane and two of her sons, Harry and Oscar, formed the Meshberger Brothers Stone Company, with Harry serving as president and Jane as vice-president.
Following the passing of Jane in 1927, Harry and Oscar purchased the interest of the other heirs and began operating as a partnership. Through their leadership, the company was moved away from the Wabash River to avoid flooding and they established additional quarries near Pleasant Mills and Columbus. Eventually, Oscar became sole owner of Linn Grove and Pleasant Mills and Harry took control of the Columbus site.
In 1961, Ron Fryback, son-in-law of Oscar, began managing the business. Another company, Penn Aggregates, was formed near Pennville in 1963. LICA Construction, a division of the company involved in application of asphalt products branched off in 1968.
In 1973, the company purchased another quarry was in Ridgeville, followed by additional quarries in Portland and Fairview.
Carolyn Fryback, Oscar's daughter, later succeeded to the presidency of the company, which operated five stone quarries and four hot mix asphalt plants.
Major products of the plants include crushed stone, glass stone, mineral filler, fertilizer filler and pulverized lime.
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