A Hardworking Innovator
Richard F. Conlon, an innovator who believed in “guts and hard work along with good, sound business practices”, founded Conlon Construction in 1903. For the first two decades of the 20th century he left his mark working on a variety of mechanical, electrical, and civil engineering projects in Cuba City, Wisconsin and the surrounding areas. His ingenuity led him to be the first to pave roads in Southwest Wisconsin and Northwest Illinois.
In 1922, R.F. moved his business and family to Dubuque, Iowa. R.F.’s sons, Orlin and Dell, joined Conlon and continued the tradition of building client relationships in Dubuque and the surrounding area that are still going strong today. Many of the buildings on the campus of Loras College, now on the National Register of Historic Places, were built by Conlon.
As the decades passed, the third generation – Mike, Steve, and Tim – assumed leadership roles and upheld the values that R. F., Orlin, and Dell laid down before them. Together they maintained and established relationships that keep over 80% of our business conducted through negotiated contracts with repeat clients including Clarke University, the University of Dubuque, UnityPoint Finley Hospital, and MercyOne Hospital Dubuque.
In 1978, Conlon built the Target store in Dubuque. Impressed by Conlon’s workmanship and building process, Target requested several more store builds from Conlon across the U.S. This work led us to establish our National Construction and Fixturing division who together have completed over 4,000 projects for Target and other retail chains in over 1,000 cities nationwide. In 1996, Conlon became the first ever contractor to receive Target’s Vendor Award of Excellence for our commitment to their business philosophy of quality and superior service.
A fourth generation of the Conlon family is now working for the business and are as committed to the values of honesty, integrity, and “guts and hard work” as R.F. Conlon was 117 years ago.