Keeping customers happy for 100 years: RM Brewer & Son celebrates a milestone anniversary

JACKSON COUNTY, MI – Roy M. Brewer opened his business in 1922 and has since helped thousands of residents with water.

The Parma well and pump service business is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. And although RM Brewer & Son Inc. has undergone many changes over the years, it has stuck to its goal of always keeping its customers happy with excellent service, co-owner Shawn Brewer said.

“It’s just a legacy of 100 years,” he said.

When Roy first opened the business, he installed what were known as point wells by hand. A year later, deeper wells were being dug with power equipment. Back then, the company drilled about 300 wells a year, except in the 1930s during the Great Depression, when it drilled just seven, said co-owner Douglas Brewer.

Kenneth Brewer, Roy’s son, joined the business in 1937. His son Douglas joined in 1965 and basically grew up in the business. He went to Ferris State University to learn more about electrical engineering and business, and brought what he learned into the family business.

Although he could have pursued a different career, staying in the family business just made sense, Douglas said.

“(Kenneth) always left it open that I could pursue other interests, but I was an only child. So I chose to stay in the family business and have never regretted it since,” said Douglas.

Today the business is still owned by Douglas and now by his son Sean. The two are keeping the tradition alive and well, Sean said. Most of them have learned from each of their fathers over the years how the business works, Douglas said,

Old photos and news clippings taken over the years at RM Brewer & Son Inc. The well and pump services business is celebrating 100 years in business this year.

“It’s a lot of hands-on learning,” Douglas said. “You can’t learn this business really well from any textbook.”

Over the years, RM Brewer has done good work throughout the state, including digging wells for Tahquamenon Falls State Park, Michigan State University, the city of Jackson, some surrounding communities, and more. Although the business no longer drills wells, it still performs pump installations, well repairs, inspections and upgrades.

Workers at RM Brewer have never been known to shy away from hard work, Sean said. Ensuring residents have access to their water has been the No. 1 goal for the longtime company, he said.

That was even during the COVID-19 pandemic, Douglas said.

“We’re a core business and we’re very, very happy to be,” Douglas said. “We didn’t even know about COVID-19.”

From the beginning, RM Brewer has earned and maintained a good reputation in Jackson County because of the time, care and products they use during installations and repairs, Shawn said.

“There’s a difference in how long (your job) lasts,” he said. “We get calls and we haven’t been there in 35 years, not even a service call in that long.”

It’s almost surreal that the business has reached its 100th anniversary since it’s one of the few remaining local well businesses, Shawn said. The family is grateful to the Jackson County community and surrounding areas for their trust over the years for all their good work, he said.

And the business plans to continue serving for the next 100 years, Sean said.

“Thank you for your great years of service to the community,” he said.

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