McBride Stone Company, Inc.
A Little About Our History
Our founder, Oran McBride, Sr., started McBride Stone Quarries as a small one man business. Oran grew up on a farm near Salado, south of Batesville, Arkansas. On afternoons and weekends in 1945, he would go to a nearby quarry and work cleaning up after the workers. After seeing the profits that could be made, Oran began quarrying rock himself off of a plot of land owned by a family friend. The first day, he put up a "Stone for Sale!" sign. He received his first customers, and made a profit of one hundred and sixty dollars. His "first" customer became a regular, coming back for two to three truckloads per week.
In 1946, Oran married Evelene Branscum. She became his partner in work and they decided to go into business for themselves. Evelene's father taught Oran how to mix mortar, and they traded an old truck for some land in Rosie, Arkansas. This land would become their first quarry. This was the humble beginnings of Oran McBride Stone Company.
The tools available for quarrying stone in those days were much different than the current times. Their quarrying tools consisted of crowbars, chisels, and hammers. The chisels they used were made of pounded down farm equipment. These tools limited them in the products they could offer their customers. At first, their only product was sandstone slab rock.
Oran's first masonry job, which consisted of quarrying and then laying the stone on the home, came in 1947. The home that he built is pictured below. He was given three hundred dollars for the completed job.
A few years after those first projects, Oran acquired a table saw, which sawed a groove into the stone. The stone was then broken with hammers and chisels into an ashlar cut stone pattern. This style was used on the home that Oran built for his family in 1954.
In 1962, Oran built a shopping center in Southside that contained a gas station, grocery store, beauty shop, barber shop, laundry mat, and dry goods building.
In the early to mid-1960s, Oran and Evelene bought land in Bethesda, a small area located about fifteen miles west of Batesville, Arkansas. This would become the main headquarters for the business. The next few decades brought about a lot of changes for the business. Their tools and techniques became more modernized, which allowed them to offer a more diverse selection of products to their customers. In the early 1960s, they bought hydraulic breakers to replace the hammers and chisels used to break the stone. The mid-1960s brought along the purchase of forklifts. During the late 1960s and early 1970s, the McBride Stone Quarry and Masonry was finishing an average of one home per week. By the early 1980s, the masonry aspect of the business was phased out and with the 1990s came the diamond blade saws, automatic polishers, and narrow belt saws. Also, over the years, Oran and Evelene purchased several quarries, including: one near Mount Pleasant, Wideman, and the old Batesville Gray Marble quarry.
From Oran and Evelene's children working to help out with the business as youngsters, to the grandchildren working for the company today, family has always been an important aspect of McBride Stone Company. Oran and Evelene had four children; Diane, Oran Jr. (Buddy), Dennis, and Darlene. Each one of them has been involved with many different aspects of the business at one time or another. They are the current owners of McBride Stone Company, Inc. There are currently four generations of McBride's working for the company today.
Over the last 70 years, McBride Stone Company has provided stone for thousands of residential homes, commercial buildings, churches, and universities. All the products sold are mined from our quarries and then produced and fabricated at our production plant. We are proud to offer our customers a product that is both of a high standard and astounding beauty!