Mertel Gravel Company - Concrete & Additives | Peru, IL

"Best concrete money can buy"

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Mertel Gravel Company at 1924
Mertel Gravel Company at 1930

In 1924, Mertel Gravel Co. was formed when the first stone quarry was started west of Peru, IL. A steam engine was used to operate the jaw crusher.

In 1930, washed gravel was introduced at the pit using the water stream located next to the crusher. By 1935 the plant was moved to the other side of railroad tracks for easier access to stone. This also enabled washed stone to be produced more readily due to larger Spring Creek.

In 1945 the first Caterpillar D4 Dozer was purchased with a cable operated bucket. Two years later, in 1947, Ready mix was starting to become popular at $4.35 per yard.  Mertel Gravel then purchased a 2 yard ready-mix truck and later purchased a 6 yard ready-mix truck that was the first of its kind in the Illinois Valley. The truck was based on an Army soft cab International truck. Cement was brought in by railroad cars near Maze Nail Company, Peru.  Each railroad car held eight hundred, ninety-four pound bags. The bags were then loaded into three dump trucks and brought to the plant. In 1949, we moved to using bulk cement rather than less productive bag cement.

The history of Mertel Gravel Company

Staff image at 1950
Truck at 1970

In 1950, Mertel Gravel Company purchased a new international ready-mix truck and relocated to the West End of Peru right along the Illinois River three years later in 1953. In 1955, a 2 X 12 foundation form was purchased to pour basements. Our first tugboat, T-Joe, was purchased a year later and we began barging in sand and gravel by means of the Illinois River. This allowed us to build our first deck barge in 1957, and purchase a second barge from Nashville Barge Company two years later.

In 1963 we built the Triple M tugboat, which replaced T-Joe. After a few years, we purchased our first 100 ton crane to unload coal and phosphate rock in 1970. Our batch size was updated to ten cubic yards in 1978, and one year later more bins were built to hold additional material. This increased the bins to two and the batch out locations to two.

Mertel Gravel Company

In 1985, we fully computerized our batch plant system.

We currently employ 25 knowledgeable staff members and continue to provide the same high-quality, hands on service that we have been providing since 1924.

We use strong concrete, which leaves all state and quality mixes behind. We use ASTM (America Standard Testing Materials) in all our products.


 Call today to begin your next project with Mertel Gravel Company!


Mertel Gravel Company at 1940 Mertel's