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Celebrating 75 Years of Service

This year Schad Refractory is celebrating 75 years of service.

To honor this accomplishment, we are excited to share with you highlights from our history. Below you will see a timeline of events featuring key employees and projects, along with photos and videos dating back to the founding of Schad in 1942.

The founding of Schad Refactory

The Founding of Schad


Phillip “P.G.” Schad was born in 1888 in Bradford, Indiana, just across the Ohio River from Louisville, Kentucky.

The third youngest of eight children, P.G. moved across the river where he developed his skills as a bricklayer and met Alice Lillian, she went by Lillian, who he married in 1914. In the 1920’s the young couple migrated north as many others in their region did, seeking the opportunity promised by the industrial boom underway in what would become the country’s “Rust Belt.” P.G. and Lillian initially settled in Flint, Michigan, where he worked as a bricklayer and project superintendent for companies including DeWitt Company and A.P. Green.

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Celebrating 75 Years of Service at Schad Refractory

A video of the Schad Greenfield office as narrated by Phillip and Lillian’s son, and the next president of Schad, Jim.

portrait of James Ross "J.R", Second President of Schad Refractory

The Second Generation of Schad

James Ross “J.R.” Schad – President

James Ross “J.R.” Schad was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1922. He grew up hunting and fishing with his father, Schad founder, Phillip, and developed a love of the outdoors that would last his lifetime. J.R. attended and graduated from Mackenzie High School on Detroit’s west side.

Shortly after graduation, J.R. enlisted in the United States Marine Corps where his upbringing as an outdoorsman paid off and he achieved the status of “Expert Marksman”. Before long he was deployed to the Pacific Front of World War II where he served courageously in many of the war’s island conflicts.

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A Look at One of Schad Refractory’s First Major Projects

In honor of Schad celebrating its 75th year, we bring to you a video detailing one of Schad’s first major projects, the Unversity of Michigan’s incinerator plant. Jim, the son of Schad’s founder and later Schad’s president, narratives the video.

Bo Calvin and Bob Lutz of Schad Refractory

A Growing Company and a Growing City

Bo Calvin – Schad Salesman – Project Manager

Bo Calvin began his career in the refractory industry in the early 1950’s as a bricklayer apprentice. “I began my apprenticeship in 1952 and completed it in 1956,” he said at a recent lunch at Miller’s Bar in Dearborn, Michigan. Right after he completed his apprenticeship, he decided to join the Army where he served two years of active duty and four years in the reserves.

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Great Lakes Foundry Boom!

Dave Sullivan – Schad Salesman – Project Manager

Dave Sullivan began his career as a bricklayer at Schad in 1963.  Some of the earliest jobs he remembers were at the sewage plant and at Marathon Refinery.  He came up through the trade working on projects primarily for Bo Calvin (featured in last month’s newsletter), and Jim Schad (featured in the February 2017 newsletter). After making it through these initial assignments Dave recalls coming up working at Dundee Cement and McLouth Steel.


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Terrell “Tex” Javis – Schad Salesman – Project Manager

Although he was born in Tennessee, Terrell Jarvis, was known throughout Schad, exclusively as “Tex”.   After serving in the US Army Signal Corps in WWII, Tex crossed paths with Schad founder, Phillip Schad, and was brought on as one of the company’s early employees.

Through the relationships he formed within and outside of the Schad organization as well as his service to his country when it needed him the most, Tex left a lasting impression on his company, industry, and family.

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