WILMINGTON — Champion Bridge Company publicly celebrated its 150th birthday on Friday and honored employees past and present that have served the company.
The noon event at 261 E. Sugartree St. included the reading of a proclamation from Clinton County Commissioners Brenda Woods and Mike McCarty, and Mayor John Stanforth — also a longtime customer — spoke, as did members of owners the Dell family.
It was followed by a ribbon-cutting in conjunction with the Wilmington-Clinton County Chamber of Commerce, then a catered lunch was served.
On display was the recent major renovation to the building — which faces both Sugartree St. and Grant St. — and new signage.
Champion Bridge Co. was founded in 1872 by brothers Zimri and Jonathan Wall to sell and manufacture their patented wrought iron truss bridges. After decades of successfully constructing bridges that still stand from Ohio down to Florida, the company transitioned to supplying fabricated structural steel for the commercial construction industry.
Zimri Wall began constructing projects in the 1850s and in 1871 he partnered with his brother Jonathan and formed J & Z Wall and Company, according to the history on the company website.
They built the Martinsville Covered Bridge in 1871 and it is still in use today.
The Wall brothers developed a new wrought iron trussed arch bridge which was subsequently patented as the “Champion Wrought Iron Arch Bridge.”
In order to expand the business, they partnered with Albert Israel Bailey in 1872 and formed The Champion Iron Bridge and Manufacturing Company. The company opened a fabrication shop in Hamilton, Ohio, and in 1875 built a larger shop in Wilmington.
These days the company is busy for large and small projects all around the region including the Laurel Oaks renovation and addition, Wilmington College Center for Sports Sciences, R&L Carriers office expansion, and the Amazon KILN renovation.
Other projects include major builds at Alkermes, Cedarville University, GE Aviation, Winton Hills Medical Center, Mercy Health Medical Liberty Campus, Sugarcreek Packaging, INX, Medpace, and the new fieldhouse at Mount St. Joseph University. And Champion Bridge works with many construction companies of all sizes including Miller Valentine, Danis, Messer, Conger, and HGC.
The company also touts itself as “a reliable resource for standard and hard to find steel pieces.”
Learn more about Champion Bridge Company at https://www.championbridgecompany.com.