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Photo by Diane Cox
Hamilton Steel employee Ed Tepen welds a piece of steel in the fabrication shop.
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Photo by Diane Cox
Jared and John Hamilton of Fosterburg took their love of steel fabricating to the next level by purchasing the former Bierbaum Steel. The Hamilton brothers have been exposed to steelworking since they were children.
GODFREY — Alton High School graduates John and Jared Hamilton followed in the footsteps of their father and grandfather to become third-generation boilermakers and steelworkers.
On March 11, the Hamilton brothers purchased the former Bierbaum Steel Co. at 311 Tolle Lane, and Hamilton Fabrication and Steel Supply Co. was born.
“The Bierbaum Company started in 1977 down in the Wood River-Roxana area before moving to this location,” John Hamilton said. “This place was a construction company before Wilber Bierbaum bought it. He (Wilber) passed away in 2011 and his daughter Cindy Maring took over and ran it the last five years. She was ready to retire, so we took a chance and reached for it.”
The Hamiltons’ grandfather, Robert “Whitey” Hamilton, retired from Laclede and was a family farmer. Their father, John Hamilton Sr., was a boilermaker and worked at area refineries before his retirement.
“Jared and I both worked for the boilermakers and have been around steel our entire life,” John said. “We were thrilled to have this opportunity and even happier that we were able to keep the former staff and keep them employed through the exchange. They do a great job.”
The business markets wholesale and retail supplies including anchors, angles, beams, channels and wire. The Hamiltons’ procedures include utilizing cold-rolling and plating procedures to ensure accuracy and precision. Hamilton advertises fine metals and items at warehouse prices with delivery on their own flatbed trucks.
“We are asked a lot if we sell to the public,” Jared Hamilton said. “Yes, we definitely work directly with the public. You don’t have to be a business to work with us. We’ve provided materials for the Ford dealership in Jerseyville when they built an expansion, we did the hand rails at the Pump House in Wood River and we are even doing some work for the new high-speed railway. We want people to come see us or call if they have any questions. No job is too big or too small. We do it all.”
The brothers plan to work with the Lewis and Clark Community College welding department to provide internship opportunities to local students in coming years.
The business can be reached at (618) 466-0012 during normal business hours from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday and 8 a.m. to noon Saturday. Jared and John Hamilton can be reached through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.