In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless… oh wait, that’s too far back. After World War II and the Korean War, Jack Laurence attended Trinity University, sold military surplus, was a purchasing agent for Dee Howard Co., and sold sheet metal for Delta Metals.
In 1962, with the support of his wife, Lucille, he purchased a small sheet metal & air conditioning company with a $10,000.00 loan from his father. The company, a customer of Jack’s while selling for Delta Metals, Allied Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning Co., started in 1956 on Trinity Street in San Antonio.
In 1962, there was a whopping 7 employees. By 1967, the original property had been condemned to make way for a drainage channel. Great news, we had grown and needed more room! We were able to buy property and build a building on Speedway just outside of the 8-year-old Loop 410. In 1968, Jack realized that the name of the company needed to change since they were “Allied Everything.” The last straw was when we started getting warranty calls for work other companies with allied in their names should have gotten. The search was on for a new moniker.
An interesting side note- the attorney Jack hired to incorporate the company and change the name, was none other than Herb Kelleher, the founder of Southwest Airlines. Frustration began to mount since all the names queried were taken already. Well, the one name that wasn’t taken was Jack Laurence Corporation. Voila, JLC was born in 1968, although we continued to do business as Allied Sheet Metal for a few more years. JLC prospered and grew in subsequent years, increasing our shop capabilities and expanding the burgeoning air conditioning business.
In 1981, son, Lynn Laurence, graduated from Texas A & M and was coerced into joining the company. After 3 years it became apparent, to Lynn, we needed to start performing plumbing work to stay competitive. In 1984, JLC became a full-service mechanical contractor by offering air conditioning, sheet metal, plumbing and piping. As with most things, there were ups and downs.
Fortunately, there were more ups than downs, and we prospered and grew. By 1993, we had outgrown Speedway and built our current building on 1.6 acres on West Golden Lane. Over the years, we have fabricated metal products such as artwork, hoods, louvers, a custom Ferris wheel cab, a corn drier, a blast freezer conveyor, monkey feeders and cages for Southwest Foundation (now Texas Biomedical Research Institute), floats for radio stations and duct work for ourselves and other company’s use.
We have participated in the building of power plants, hospitals, hotels, breweries, meat plants, milk plants, grocery stores, theatres, jails, office buildings, schools, churches, theme parks, airplane hangars, a natatorium, restaurants, labs, renovation of the Alamo and even buildings on the Kwajalein Atoll. In 2007, Justin Kuehler, a graduate of Texas Tech, and grandson of Jack and nephew of Lynn, came onboard. We have been blessed and honored to have great employees, customers, suppliers, and opportunities over the 58 years!