In 1952, Lester Wright began a career in the metal-working business by building and opening a small shop on his family property outside of Green Forest, Arkansas. There he fabricated utility truck bodies and performed other various fabrication, repair, and machining jobs.
Three short years later, in 1955, Lester outgrew his small shop and moved to Green Forest, Arkansas. There he expanded and began doing larger projects. His scope ranged across many platforms, including building livestock auction buildings in Arkansas and Oklahoma, supporting contractors building the Beaver Dam with machine work, and servicing the rock quarry industry.
Lester’s vision for growth continued, and in 1961 he moved to Harrison, Arkansas. In this move he gained more production space, and purchased Elkins Corporation, a steel construction contractor. Starting in 1962, Lester contracted with the Web Corporation from Web City, Missouri to manufacture ironworking machines.
In 1973, Wright Steel Co. began a second generation of ownership when Ken Wright, Lester’s son, purchased the business. Ken already had 10 years of experience in the metal-working and die cast industry. Ken owned a partnership company, K&W Machine, that he assumed full ownership of during this same time. Ken soon merged both businesses and moved them to our current location in the Industrial Park of Harrison, Arkansas. New buildings were constructed and growth continued. With this move and expansion, the current name of Wright Steel & Machine Co., Inc. was established. Services expanded to the manufacturing parachute hardware for U.S. Forgecraft, building tooling for the die cast industry, and continuing in steel construction.
In the mid 1980s, Ken began a transfer of ownership to a third generation and continued to oversee operations until his retirement in 2007. Two of Ken’s sons, Wes Wright and Steve Wright, currently own and operate Wright Steel & Machine Co., Inc.
Wes began learning about the business from an early age, working after school and during the summers. In 1984, after continuing education in Little Rock, Arkansas, he returned to Harrison and came on staff. Steve had also worked part-time at an young age and began working full-time in 1989 along with continuing his education in the metal-working industry.
For more than 50 years, Wright Steel & Machine Co., Inc. has continued in a pattern of growth by most recently expanding our capabilities and services with new and improved facilities, to the addition of cutting edge technology equipment.
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