Auburn Fire Chief, Ralph H. White founded R.H. White Construction Company when he saw opportunity in Central Massachusetts for a company that could install water and sewer piping.
To survive The Great Depression, Ralph H. White became the chief engineer for the Federal Government’s Work Progress Administration’s Worcester County operations; helping engineer projects in every town.
In 1932 the R.H. White Bus Company was founded with two, 30-passenger Dodge School Buses - a diversification during tough times that became a successful company serving Auburn for over 75 years.
In 1933, R.H. White was awarded its first major project - installing dewatering pumps in Boston’s Sumner Tunnel.
During World War II, R.H. White shifted focus into building projects at local textile mills including Whitin Machine Works and other manufacturers for foundations, expansions and even temporary in-house labor, employing more than 100 craftsmen daily.
Under Ralph’s leadership and in cooperation with his son, Leonard H. White, the company became the controlling interest of the Milford Water Company.
Keeping up with changing technology and continued efficiency, Leonard White, who had just begun his career, spearheaded purchasing its first backhoe for $10,000.
Natural gas was piped to New England; transforming the gas industry and positioning R.H. White for continued growth.
R.H.White’s Building Division began its work in the design/build market through Laurel Hill Realty (LHR). Owned by Ralph & Leonard White, LHR constructed the Auburn Gardens Apartment Complex at a cost of $85,000 per building.
R.H. White purchased its second private water utility, Whitinsville Water Company, in 1962.
The first of many future satellite offices was opened in Merrimack, NH (currently located in Bow, NH).
The company’s first sewage treatment plant was constructed in Danielson, CT at a cost of $385,000.
Third-generation son, David H. White, started his career at the company and his father, Leonard H. White became president of R.H. White Construction Co., Inc in 1969.
Formed L.H. White and Son, Inc. its construction equipment management division, offering more control of equipment for construction projects.
Founded White Development, the company’s commercial and residential development entity.
Rapid growth in water and wastewater with the construction of treatment plants and pump stations throughout Massachusetts and Southern New England.
This period experienced significant growth in building construction in the high-technology market; specifically, with Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) – a leading manufacturer of computer systems. R.H. White crews built DEC’s engineering and manufacturing facilities throughout Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
Starting in July 1981, the company formed the R.H. White Charitable Trust, which currently donates upwards of $100k, annually, to various organizations.
Ventured into the public water business with the purchase of the Southbridge Water Company; evolving in 1989 to the creation of WhiteWater, its water utility subsidiary.
In 1989, David H. White, third-generation owner, named President of the R.H. White Companies.
Completed a fast-track project for Wachusett Mountain including the construction of a base lodge, three chair lifts, more than 20 trails, a water supply pond, the installation of snow-making equipment and construction of a pump station.
Adopted the Timberline Estimating System and Penta Accounting Software and Expedition project management software; essentially consolidating and computerizing functions relevant to accounting, estimating, procurement, reporting and service management.
Legal formation of The R.H. White Companies, Inc., the parent entity to the various divisions and subsidiaries.
In 2000 and 2002, WhiteWater won separate 20-year contracts for operation and maintenance of the Town of Southbridge water and City of Chelsea water, sewer and drain systems.
The company set the foundation for its most vital core value - Safety 24/7 - a true culture of employee well-being.
Completed a challenging 13-mile installation of a biogas pipeline for the University of New Hampshire.
Expanded the breadth and depth of utility construction into Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) facilities.
In 2002, R.H. White transformed a former industrial mill in Millbury, MA into Cordis Mills Apartments. The luxury apartments consist of 112 one - and two-bedroom apartments that was owned by White Development until 2019.
Fourth generation of the White family enters the business – Heather (White) Whitney, Alana (White) Giddens and Thomas White as well as son-in-law, Jared Whitney.
The company was awarded its largest water treatment construction project in Groton, CT - a 15 million gallon- per-day facility at a value of $44 million.
Through White Development and R.H. White’s Building Division, the company completed three design / build / own / lease / maintain projects for Columbia Gas of Massachusetts in Springfield, Shrewsbury and Wrentham, Massachusetts.
In 2019, David H. White transitioned to Chairman of the Board and named James E. McCarthy, a 34-year veteran of the company, President and CEO. Jim is the first non-family member to hold the position and he will ensure that the fourth generation of the White family is well positioned to continue the long-term sustainability of the company.
In 2016 this building, the Leonard H. White Training Center, was opened solidifying the company’s emphasis on safety and training for its nearly 600 employees; investing more than $1.5 million annually.
One thing is clear: our core principals of safety, customer service, integrity and family values will be the cornerstone of our future successes.