The Fowler Flemister name harkens back to days as a coal company at the beginning of the 20th century.
The Milledgeville-based business evolved with the times, adding building materials to the inventory of coal. Eventually ready mix concrete became a specialty.
John A. “Gus” Pursley Jr. began working for Fowler Flemister in 1946.
By 1967, Pursley Jr. and Alta M. “Sis” Ross purchased the ready mix branch of the building material business from Walter Williams Jr.
“When we bought the concrete company, it was the only entity left,” Pursley Jr. said.
Shortly before her retirement, Ross sold her interest to Pursley in 1977.
Along with son, Pursley III, the family maintains Milledgeville’s oldest manufacturing facility still in operation.
The only major local move made was from North Wayne Street to North Wilkinson Street. Pursley Jr. said the using another name was discussed but failed to gain traction.
“We had a lot of people say why don’t you change it” Pursley Jr. said.
Contractors would always call and ask for Fowler Flemister.
“We said we aren’t going to kill the goose that laid the golden egg,” he added. “We stayed with it until we got out of the building supply business.”
Fowler Flemister is Milledgeville’s full-service “one-stop shop” concrete and masonry supplier furnishing anything from curing compounds, sealers, color stains, reinforcing rods or wire, mortar mix, stone and sand used in both commercial and residential building.
Fowler Flemister Concrete’s range of products expanded over time but the business’s integrity hasn’t changed.
“You are dependent on the integrity and reputation of the supplier when you buy ready mix concrete,” Pursley Jr. said.
The concrete is tested every 50 yards on industrial jobs. Residential customers rely on the supplier’s accuracy.
“There is a sense of trust that you know you are getting what you pay for,” Pursley III said.