A Brief History of Sullivan & Fortner

Sullivan & Fortner Roofing Company has a long tradition in the Greater Lafayette community. Although Sullivan & Fortner was only engaged in roofing in its early years, the company eventually expanded into other areas. The company has had only six owners and/or co-owners since it was established in 1910 by Mr. Sullivan. Freeman Fortner came aboard in the 1940's.

An avid fan of high school basketball, Mr. Fortner hired Donald Howard to work for the company during the summer months, between school sessions. Howard, a Jeff basketball player, eventually became a part-owner of the business with Mr. Fortner after completing his education.

Initially located at the corner of 31st and Cincinnati, the company's next location, on the south side of State Road 26 (across from the current U.S. Post Office), was destroyed by a fire in 1963. At that time, Mr. Howard decided to form his own company, Howard Aluminum, and sold his interest in the company to Fortner.

Freeman Fortner retired and sold the company to Bob Wesner and Charles Skiver in 1968. In 1982, Wesner also decided to retire and sold his interest in the company to Charles Skiver. Mr. Skiver, who had been with Sullivan & Fortner since 1959, was the sole owner of the company until 1997, when he sold the business to the current owner, Paul O'Dell. In 2000, Mr. O'Dell decided to move the business from its old location along State Road 26 to its current location at 733 Navco Drive, south of Kossuth Street, in the building that had been occupied by All-Star Tire.