In 1910, my Great Uncle, Carl A. Carlson, started a business known as the Hawthorne Roofing Tile Company. The firm was originally set up on the premises of what today is known as the Western Electric Company in Cicero, Illinois.
The company manufactured and promoted a cement tile to supplement the clay tile and natural slate roofing materials that were prevalent on roofs at the time. Frank D. Chase was the architect and engineer for the plant and Uncle Carl was the inventor of the tile-manufacturing machinery and process.
In 1920, Lawrence W. Keefe was employed as a salesman-engineer with his sister company in Los Angeles, California. My dad at this point was working on his degree in accounting from Northwestern University. It was in these early years, before 1923, where "Larry" picked up his knowledge of the various methods and application techniques becoming very familiar with various types of tile and slate roofing.
Lawrence W. Keefe set up his business then in the Chicago Area. Utilizing the knowledge he gained at Northwestern University and applying his roofing experience, Larry founded the family owned and operated business in 1923 named Lawrence W. Keefe & Co. Inc. The company promoted slate and tile roofing materials, both applications and repairs, to Chicago and surrounding area skylines.
Today, as in the years since 1923, I am carrying on our family tradition of quality materials applied and/or repaired by highly skilled and accredited craftsmen for the beauty and protection of buildings throughout the Chicagoland area.