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John TerWisscha, center, using hammer and saw, started construction in 1954 and later created a successful company, TerWisscha Construction in Willmar, that celebrated 50 years of business last week. With him are Kelly TerWisscha, left, TWC chief executive officer, and Keith Nelson, right, TWC president. The company started building homes and later expanded into the commercial market. (Submitted photo)

From picking up a shovel to decades of success: Family-owned TerWisscha Construction celebrates 50 years

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WILLMAR — John TerWisscha began his construction career in the summer of 1954 digging footings with a shovel for Mel Werder. Werder was building a hog barn 4 miles south of Willmar.


“I asked if Mel had any work for a dude like me,’’ recalls TerWisscha who had returned in late February from military service in Korea.

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David Little
David Little covers the Willmar City Council, Willmar Municipal Utilities and other city news.
(320) 235-1150