History: The Growth of William Charles

William Charles, a Rockford-based family-owned business, traces its roots back to 1892. Before the Cubs won the World Series, Aaron Johnston and his son Milton founded A.C. Johnston and Son Coal Company in Joliet. Over the next 50 years, the company grew in two areas: road construction and coal/oil/lumber supply. In 1942, Bill Howard teamed up with his brothers-in-law from Joliet to form Rockford Blacktop Construction Co. Newspaper articles and employees used one word to describe Bill Howard – “drive.” His nickname was “the old man.”

                                                                      Read more about our rich history through the decades.


With over a century of quality work behind our name, William Charles is still guided by the pursuit of excellence and the “Do it right the first time” work ethic that has been at the cornerstone of our business philosophy since 1892. Our attention to the customer and to the highest safety standards are at the very heart of all we do.