In 1952, my great-grandfather, Arthur Ryberg founded Franklin Park Building Material (also referred to as Franklin Park Ready Mix). He was a construction worker and architect from Connecticut and did work in New York until he moved to Chicago in the 1930's. He died when I was just a young boy, but I'll tell you the story as I have received it.
Arthur was a young boy when he hurt his leg ice skating. He unfortunately never told his mother about the injury and later in life was forced to amputate his leg. As a young child, I would sit on grandpas wooden leg, which the family named "Woody." We would watch TV together and I would watch him eat sardines. He was a tough man and quite the entrepreneur.
As I know it, he and my grand-mother, Barbara Ryberg met through Moody Bible Institute (Chicago) and they were sent to River Grove, IL to help start River Grove Bible Church. My grandfather was the architect for building the church.
Art had made a decent living as a young construction worker and was looking to go into business for himself. After a short time in River Grove, he came upon some investment bankers who found some land in Franklin Park and purchased it. Franklin Park Building Material started as a ready-mix, construction supply, sand, stone and coal company. My father tells me that for 10 years we sold coal. When he wasn't selling material... he was building. He built many of the local churches, schools, and homes.
The company has taken many shifts in it's products over the years, but the cornerstone of our company is Ready Mix concrete.
Arthur passed away in 1986, when I was 5. About that same time, my father and grandfather (Art's son-in-law) took over as co-owners of the company. Now, with a handful of staff they continue to provide great building materials and ready mix for the best quality in Chicago. But it all started with one man - my great grandfather.