Eby Construction was founded by a husband and wife in Wichita, Kansas, in the midst of The Great Depression. Against the odds, the company grew immensely in the following decades and is credited with constructing many landmark buildings in Wichita. From the high-quality work Eby Construction has performed and the thousands of individuals we have employed, to the many nonprofit organizations and causes we have supported, we could not be more proud of our story.
After graduating first in the Kansas State University Civil Engineering Class of 1929, Martin K. Eby, Sr. began his career working for a building contractor who worked throughout the Central Plains. He met his wife, Pauline, in Wichita Falls, Texas. They married in 1932 and had their first son, Martin Eby, Jr. in 1934. In 1937, with $4,000 in savings and a $2,000 loan from his father, Eby Construction was founded as a partnership between Martin and Pauline.
Eby Construction’s first projects included installing driveways and erecting “Flying Horse” signs for Mobil Oil service stations in and around Wichita. Martin and Pauline ran the business from their home, where he prepared the estimates, and she served as secretary and bookkeeper. Within the first two years of being in business, Eby Construction received the first of what would be many numerous federal contracts and began working on the new Post Office building located in Council Grove, Kansas.
During World War II, Eby continued to work throughout the state of Kansas and performed projects for the War Department at airfields and Army bases. Almost 80 percent of the company’s work put in place during these two years was done at military installations. Other projects included school construction in Wichita, a hospital addition in Junction City, and a power plant expansion in Herrington.
After World War II, Eby continued to grow along with the rest of the U.S. Eby took work outside the state of Kansas for the first time by constructing town site facilities for the War Department in Harlan County, Nebraska. In addition to War Department projects, clients included ATSF Railway, Southwestern Bell Telephone, and the City of Wichita. Martin K. Eby Construction Company was incorporated in the state of Kansas on January 14, 1948.
By 1950, Eby had established itself as a leading general contractor in the region surrounding Wichita based on its employees’ willingness “to go where the work is.” This reputation led to more work throughout Central U.S. In addition to projects in the four states surrounding Kansas, Eby was hired by the Santa Fe Land Improvement Company and completed the construction of a five-story addition to the historic La Fonda Hotel in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
With a growing reputation for top quality work and methods that produced lower costs, Eby was awarded one of the first large contracts at the newly created McConnell AFB located in Wichita, Kansas. Under a contract with the U.S. Corps of Engineers, the work required the construction of 28 dormitories, four bachelor officers’ dormitories, four mess hall/administration buildings, and related site improvements.
One of the services that Eby developed early on was the construction of municipal utility work, including water and wastewater treatment facilities, and interceptor sewer and water transmission pipelines. In 1955-56, the City of Wichita bid out the construction of a 66-inch water transmission main to deliver raw water from the Harvey County Equus beds. Eby completed the 19+ mile project in 1956.
- When the Board of County Commissioners of Sedgwick County Kansas saw that they had outgrown their existing facilities, bids were taken and Eby was selected as the contractor for the new 11-story Sedgwick County Courthouse. Eby self-performed the installation of driven steel pile foundations, concrete foundations, structural steel erection, masonry, and finish carpentry.
- Eby continued to experience growth and opened an office in Englewood, Colorado. The company operated out of this office for more than 20 years to support work in the Rocky Mountain area.
In 1960, the Cold War was in full swing. With the need of the U.S. to maintain a balance of power with the U.S.S.R., an increased demand for military installations gave Eby additional work in the federal defense construction area. Eby won its largest contract to date—the construction of nine Atlas missile sites located throughout the states of Wyoming, Colorado, and Nebraska.
Eby continued to grow and perform projects throughout the Midwest during the early 1960s. As part of the initial effort for riverfront beautification, Eby was hired by the City of Wichita for the construction of the new Century II Performing Arts & Convention Center (built to commemorate Wichita’s 1970 centennial). Century II opened its doors for business on January 11, 1969.
Eby Construction celebrated 50 years in business.
Riverside and Timmerman Elementary Schools were constructed to expand the capacity of the Emporia USD 253 School District. These new elementary schools, substantially similar in design, are 58,000 square feet each, for a total of 116,000 square feet of new school space. The schools are masonry block construction with a brick veneer, steel roof trusses and joists, and with standing-seam metal roofing. The heating system makes use of an innovative geothermal well system to lower heating and cooling costs.
Boynton Dental Office is an 8,000 square foot single-story dental office with a 1,500 square foot unfinished basement. The structure is wood-framed with a stone and stucco exterior. The roof is combination clay tile, standing seam roof and single-ply rubber membrane. Two thirds of the building interior is decorated in a Colorado cabin style with stone fireplaces, stone transaction counters, and distressed glue-laminated beams and columns. The spacious and comfortable reception area opens into patient exam rooms with state of the art dental equipment. The remaining one third of the building’s interior was left unfinished and available for future tenant space.
In 2016, Eby achieved its goal of having a shop, yard and corporate office in the same location. Two buildings located near 37th Street North and Poplar were purchased in 2015, and have since been remodeled. The new corporate office encompasses about 15,000 square feet of the north building, with the remaining 7,000 square feet being used for warehouse space. This building was remodeled to feature 10 private offices, two break-out rooms, a conference room, a board room, a kitchen, restrooms and a training room with seating for up to 80. The 24,000 square foot south building houses our maintenance shop, mill shop and additional warehouse storage. The building features two mezzanines with offices, a parts crib, compressor room and restrooms. The north side of the corporate office also features a courtyard.