1941: Don and Phillip Donley borrowed $25,000 from their dad to purchase the Construction Department from Donley Brothers. Ernest F. Donley's Sons, Inc. is established on February 14, 1941 as concrete form work contractors. At the time, they were the only local supplier of metal pan forms.



World War II: Starting just after Donley's was incorporated, the emphasis shifts from construction to industrial mill supplies, including saw sales & sharpening.


1943: Equipment Division is formed.


1940's: When Terry Donley was a child, his father Philip F. Donley would take the future president of the company to work on Saturdays and give him odd jobs—sweeping floors, washing windows, etc.  He went from sweeping floors to sharpening tools when he was 13 or 14 years old.

1945-1960's: Formwork subcontracting business grew from pans and open centering to all formwork for concrete, including footings. Donley’s was the first in N.E. Ohio to use ganged forms, tower cranes, and concrete pumps.


1950's: Donley’s business offerings included: 

  • Formwork Contractors
  • Lathing Contractors
  • Light General Construction Equipment Distributors
  • Industrial Mill Supplies (varied lines)
  • Circular Saw Sales, Sharpening & Repair
  • Automotive Tool Distribution 

1952: Terry graduates from Miami University and becomes an estimator.

1954: Interiors Division is formed.  This section of the business started an expansion program in 1955 and Donley's became acoustical ceiling applicators, terminated lathing for plaster by 1959 and started as drywall contractors.  This business expanded from acoustical ceiling contractors to drywall and later to movable partitions.