We recently celebrated our centennial year. Very few companies can say that they have been doing business for 100 years. I would like to acknowledge and thank each one of you for the contributions that you make that have contributed to our success and allowed us to remain a viable and successful company.
Frank A. Caffall is my great grandfather. He first operated an elevator and worked in the receiving department for the Salt Lake Hardware Company. When a vacancy opened up in the ceramic tile division of Salt Lake Hardware he began working as an apprentice. In 1911, Caffall Tile was born when Frank purchased an interest in the department, managed by C. T. Litchfield, and moved the business to Main Street. Mr. Litchfield died in 1914 and Frank purchased the remaining portion of the business. Several years later he moved the business to 977 Wilson Avenue. Under the direction of Mr. Caffall, the company began to bid more large commercial work and did the work on the Medical Arts Building in 1927, the Air base Hospital at Mountain Home, Idaho, Hillcrest High, Judge Memorial, and 80,000 feet of tile at the Deseret Gymnasium.
Frank Caffall had three daughters, Thelma, Ethyl and Grace. Thelma, the oldest daughter, is my grandmother and my fatherís mother. Jack, my father, started working at Caffall Tile in early 1951 as a helper. He quickly moved up the ranks and was working as the acting manager of the company by the early sixties. When Frank died of a sudden heart attack in 1966, Jack took over operation of the company. He ran Caffall Tile from 1966 to 1979.
Upon returning home from an LDS mission to Spain in early 1979, I immediately went to work for my father at Domestic Import Tile Supply, a company my father had started in the early seventies. Shortly after going to work at Domestic Import, my father had to make a decision concerning Caffall Tile. During the course of opening and operating Domestic Import Tile, Jack had left the day to day operations of Caffall Tile to Harold Rogers, a trusted long term tile setter and foreman. Harold became very ill in 1977 and had to retire. Jack had to decide what to do with Caffall Tile, he was completely occupied with the operation of Domestic and was not able to continue running both companies.
My father approached me in late August of that year and asked if I would be interested in working at Caffall. He sweetened the pot by offering a higher salary at Caffall than I was making at Domestic. I was also interested in the prospect of becoming my own boss. My father took a couple of days to teach me how to take off a plan and estimate a tile job. He then taught me how to buy out, man up and manage a project and we were on our way. At that time in late 1979 and early 1980 we had Dell Phillips running a small, homemade granite saw, 3 to 4 tile setters, a few helpers, Forrest Hobbs driving and delivering, Thelma Thurman (my grandmother) doing the books and me trying to figure out how to keep it all going forward.
Over the past 30 years we have experienced many challenges, successes and learning opportunities. We are very fortunate to be where we are today and are the only tile company that is still up and running in this state from the early nineteen hundreds. Many individuals have come and gone in the thirty years that have passed since I accepted my fatherís offer, but one thing has remained the same Ė our commitment to quality. From very humble beginnings we are a successful, viable and important part of the construction industry today. Thank you for supporting Caffall Tile throughout all of our years.
F. David Elder, CEO/Owner of Caffall Tile