In 1917, J.T. Morrison, W.L. Armstrong and R.P. Turbeville founded Fort Worth Pump & Windmill Company in Texas. The company changed its name in 1920 to Fort Worth Supply Company to reflect its new direction and focus on plumbing supplies, which was considered bold due to the uncertainty of the times. In 1926, they renamed themselves Morrison Supply Company in recognition of the elderly J.T. Morrison’s leadership. During the first three decades Morrison confined operations to their home base in Texas and opened various branches around the state: Amarillo in 1922, Wichita Falls in 1926, Lubbock in 1940, and Odessa in 1946.Following the onset of the Depression a new leader was sought. Glen, the son of R.P. Turbeville, was chosen. He remained at the helm for a half century as the President and then Chairman of the Board. In 1953, Morrison began operating in south Texas with the purchase of Rich Supply in Houston. The same year a San Diego, California-based appliance and kitchen cabinet business was added to the Morrison family.
In 1956, the expansion trend was changed with the purchase of the company’s first out of state subsidiary, Fox Supply, in Denver, Colorado. Frank Grannell, an industry veteran, was at the helm of Fox at the time of the acquisition. His 33 year-old son Bill, who had worked in the business eight years, was chosen as the new leader of the Morrison subsidiary. In 1957, Morrison purchased Tucson Pipe & Supply, an industrial pipe, valve, and fitting house established in 1917. In 1960, the company purchased Crane Supply’s Santa Ana, California facility. In 1974, it purchased a facility from ITT Grinnell Corporation in Santa Barbara, California. In 1984, Morrison’s longtime CEO, Glen Turbeville, died and Bill Grannell was elected as his successor. Simultaneously, in the mid 1980’s, the construction economy in Texas had fallen sharply and it was decided that Morrison’s empire was too far flung. Consequently, Tucson Pipe was sold to the Familian Corporation and the Morrison Company operations in California were sold to The Silver Group.
The Next Chapter
Shortly thereafter in 1986, Morrison Supply Company was bifurcated into two entities: Morrison Supply Company with six remaining branches in Texas, and Fox Supply Company with five branches in Colorado. Bill Grannell purchased Fox Supply Company and returned to his native home in Denver. Scott Sangalli purchased Morrison Supply Company and assumed the position of President and CEO. In the same year, Morrison’s sales volume was approximately $17 million. During the next nine years, Morrison continued its growth by opening several new branches in Texas. In October 1995, Morrison purchased the assets of Milstead Supply Company, which included outlets in Austin, New Braunfels, and Waco. In April 1996, Morrison purchased American Supply Company and its branches in Texarkana, Kilgore, Tyler, and Nacogdoches. The Company hit a milestone in 1997 when its sales surpassed the $100 million mark. In 1998, Scott Sangalli appointed Darrell Hawkins as President and COO. Mr. Sangalli remained Chairman and CEO. Thereafter, the company’s momentum accelerated even further. In the following decade, Morrison added HVAC and oilfield supplies, utilities, appliances and decorative hardware to its product lines and opened more than 55 new locations across the southwest.