Until a grandson of the original owner, Jesse Ratliff, came along to bring Ratliff Steel back to life.
When Shay Ratliff took on the task of turning Ratliff Steel around, he had a goal in mind: Turn the business around and bring it back to how his grandfather had it years ago.
"It's just an honor to carry on a legacy and restore something that my granddad started," Ratliff said.
Previously, Ratliff Steel had only been involved with distribution of steel products, but that's changing. Now, they're moving into manufacturing and fabrication.
They took a look a what the demand was in the industry and found out that's what was needed.
But with this growth, they needed help.
The Brownwood Economic Development Corporation helps businesses who have chosen to do business in Brownwood, to help them expand and create more jobs and revenue.
"One of the ways that we can do that is through projects like what we've done with Ratliff Steel," said BEDC Executive Director, Emily Crawford. "With an equipment loan so that they are able to diversify their company and expand their products."
They saw the potential for continued expansion and they wanted to support that.
So Ratliff sought out the loan, and he got it. $100,000 for equipment.
While this new loan will hopefully help the company succeed in their new endeavors, Ratliff Steel expands far beyond large scale manufacturing and distribution. They take on small projects throughout the community like the design and manufacturing of the scorers table at Brownwood High School.
"We're just so fortunate here in Brownwood that the community support that we have from the businesses as well as the local community," said Michael Richardson with the Brownwood High School Booster Club. "It's just a great thing to have here."
Ratliff Steel has provided all kinds of services throughout the community including the steel fencing around the high school.
"It's awesome to take a small project and be apart of the community," said Ratliff.
And good news if you're looking for a job in the industry, "We're hiring, you bet we're hiring," stated Ratliff.
The demand for their services has been so high, that other businesses in Brownwood have already begun to outsource for their steel manufacturing and distribution.