Century Fence’s current president.
Photo courtesy of Sabrina
- After 100 years in business, the Bryants, owners of
Century Fence, say they still get a rush from seeing
signs of their company’s work along highways and on
fences around landmarks like Lambeau Field in Green Bay
and Camp Randall Stadium in Madison.
family takes immense pride in the legacy that their
ancestors started in Waukesha County in 1917, which has
grown over a century from scrap metal to a leader in
fencing and pavement marking. It’s easy to find towns
and cities in Wisconsin where Century Fence has made its
remember a night when I turned on the news and I saw our
sign. There it was, in the background of another story,”
said Sabrina Bryant. “It’s still a thrill to see [the
signs.] We think ‘wow, this really says something to the
community; we are here.’”
third location was on Lincoln Avenue from 1923 to 1968.
Century Fence’s founder and first president.
Photos and art courtesy of
company, owned by Andrea and Tony Bryant, son of founder
Henry Bryant, and run by President John Connell, has
completed projects across the U.S. and rakes in $50
million yearly in sales. They have expanded to
manufacturing and fabrication plants in Green Bay,
Pewaukee, Forest Lake, Minn. and a new location in
Knapp. They celebrated the company's 100 year
anniversary last month with Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch
and a presentation of its history punctuated by The
Wisconsin Philharmonic Orchestra.
known for fencing, Century Fence added pavement marking
to their wheelhouse in 1969 after submitting the sole
bid to the Wisconsin Highway Department to mark over two
thousand miles of state highways in the state.
realized we didn’t have any equipment to do the project.
We found some in the state of Missouri and brought it
back and practiced marking in the backyard,” said Tony
current headquarters in Pewaukee.
The Bryant family
during Century Fence’s 100th anniversary party on June
Photos courtesy of Sabrina
company makes all their own trucks to meet their
specifications. That way, if something breaks there will
be someone close at hand who knows how to make repairs,
and they don’t have to lose time and money by sending it
away to be fixed.
company’s road-striping division took off at a sprint
and continues to be at the forefront with pavement
marking technology, according to Vice President of
Operations Tim McChesney. Century Fence is even part of
the high-profile Interstate 94 Zoo Interchange project,
putting down wet reflective lines throughout the
construction site, according to their website.
Operators of Century Fence are always looking for ways
to expand the breadth of their service area - stretching
through 40 states with a 12-state core of ongoing work
in the Midwest - and react to a changing market, John
the biggest change in recent memory for Century Fence
was after 9/11 - as business and service buildings
started to require increased security - when the company
stepped up and started thinking of new and innovative
ways to make durable and secure fences to go around
airports, water treatment facilities, electric plants
and even hydraulic fracturing sites in North Dakota.
said the company is always on the cutting edge of
materials and new fencing designs. As a leader in the
field, they often get calls from new clients who want to
change to Century Fence or from past customers, like
several prisons in Wisconsin, who want to redo fences
based on new materials and designs.
year we get together and reflect on the year and talk
about the future,” Connell said.
A prison fence
constructed by Century Fence during the 1980s.
Photo courtesy of Sabrina
local business economy is good, fencing is successful,
and when there is pressure on state government to repair
roads, the pavement marking business takes off, Connell
Wisconsin lawmakers are at a standstill over the next
state budget because there are disagreements over how
much should be borrowed and how revenue should be
created for infrastructure and road repair.
said he spoke to Kleefisch when she was at their
headquarters last month for the anniversary event, and
asked her what she would do. He said she stuck with Gov.
Walker's stance that gas taxes should not increase, but
“Investment in infrastructure is essential to a healthy
economy,” Connell said. “Gas tax wouldn't be a hurt
point for most.”