Our History

A Fresh Beginning

World War II had finally come to an end in the summer of 1945 and, like millions of other Americans, the Burleson’s were busy putting their lives back together. Reno Burleson and his younger brother, Grover, had served with the Navy in the South Pacific while their father, J.R., spent the war years working at a defense plant in California. With the war at an end, all three were faced with the challenge of finding their place in a rapidly changing peacetime economy. There was one thing they all agreed on: after three years in California and the muggy islands of the Pacific, they were eager to get back to the green hills of east Tennessee and their home in Johnson City. J.R. and Grover got home first, after a long, exhausting cross-country auto trek from California, spending nights in cramped tourist cabins and struggling to keep tires on their old pre-war car. The brothers and their father had talked about going into the construction business when they got back home and by November, 1945, J.R. and Grover had started building small frame houses in Johnson City. Headquarters was in the elder Burleson’s  home on Southwest Avenue. It took Reno a little longer to secure his release from the Navy, but while he was home on leave for Christmas, the brothers and their father agreed to a partnership that became effective January 1, 1946. The firm, that would eventually become Burleson Construction Company, was up and running.

The Next Generation

Burleson Construction continued its slow, but steady, growth through the 1960s and ’70s, providing an opportunity for two members of the third generation to join the company. Reno’s son, Tommy, was born in 1951 and grew up in the business, working for the family firm during high school and college. Tommy graduated from Science Hill High School, then recieved a Bachelor’s Degree in Building Construction from Clemson University in 1973. After graduation, Tommy was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and retired recently as a Colonel after 30 years of combined active and reserve duty. His service record includes mobilization for Desert Storm in 1990 and six months of active duty in Germany in 2003. Tommy joined the company full-time in 1974 following his intial active duty tour. His first job was field superintendent. Grover Burleson, Jr., known to all as “Skip”, was born in 1952. Like his cousin, Skip started working for the company while still in high school. He graduated from Science Hill High School, then earned a BS in Civil Engineering from the University of Tennessee in 1975. He worked part-time for a family business and part-time for a local architectural and engineering firm, Beeson, Lusk & Jones. He later went to work for Powell Construction from 1977 to 1994, until he finally found his way back home to Burleson Construction. He has been here ever since.

Burleson Today

Today, Burleson Construction Company, Inc. has grown to become one of the largest and most respected general construction firms in the region. But the company, now owned by the company’s employees, still believes in the old-fashioned values that have made the firm so successful: hard work, integrity, and a belief in providing the best quality possible.