shipyard

Our History

When Hugo Heldenfels arrived in the United States in 1864, little did he know that the Texas lumberyard he would start would give rise to a construction legacy. Five generations later, the Heldenfels name still stands for innovation and quality in construction.

In 1909, F.W. Heldenfels, Sr. and his brother, C.A. Heldenfels, founded Heldenfels Brothers, a lumber and materials business. The two early entrepreneurs expanded into shipbuilding at the start of World War I, with a contract from the Federal government to build four wooden, steam powered cargo vessels. After the war, they began dredging oyster shell from the shipyard and made their first foray into road construction, an area where the Heldenfels name would make a significant mark in coming years.

By 1936, F.W.’s three sons had joined the business and helped expand into construction of military bases, airports and ever-larger highways. And as their sons and grandsons joined them, Heldenfels Brothers continued broadening into new markets and capitalizing on technological innovation, always maintaining the standard of excellence associated with the family name. Heldenfels Brothers has touched practically every major construction arena in Texas, including expressways, bridges, subdivisions, industrial plants, office buildings, parking garages and water treatment plants, just to name a few.

“You hear a lot about reliability. How Heldenfels has always been here and will always be here to get the job done. We don’t leave our customers in a lurch.”
Kurt Schriefer, Vice President

In 1995, Fred Heldenfels IV formed Heldenfels Enterprises, Inc. and bought the assets of the company’s precast/prestressed concrete division. With two manufacturing plants in Texas, one in Corpus Christi and one in San Marcos, Heldenfels Enterprises maintains the Heldenfels presence in traditional construction markets–highway, marine and industrial–while continuing the tradition of building on technological advances to expand into new markets. One particular area in which the new company has excelled is in completing large, challenging commercial projects such as athletic stadiums, which require not only quality product, but also exceptional project management capabilities to reach completion on time and on budget.

Hugo Heldenfels would be proud. A century later, the Heldenfels legacy is thriving, with plenty of big things on the horizon.