After a career in the Navy, E. G. Middleton, Sr. (affectionately known as “Mitt” or “Mr. Mitt”) settled, with his wife Thelma, in Norfolk, Virginia and, in 1920, founded E. G. Middleton, Inc. as an electrical contracting business. Mitt and Thelma worked together to create and run a successful business focused primarily on residential projects – with Mitt performing the electrical work and Thelma handling the administrative duties. During these early years, the company was run from Mitt and Thelma’s home.
As the Norfolk area expanded economically, Mitt began to win a variety of non-residential jobs, such as churches and small commercial projects. The success of these projects established his reputation as a trustworthy individual running an honest business. In the late 1940′s, E. George Middleton, Jr. and Beverly (“Bev”) R. Middleton (Mitt and Thelma’s sons) entered the business working summers and during breaks from college. In the early 1950′s, both sons joined the business full time after graduating from Virginia Tech. As the economic climate changed in the Norfolk area, the company expanded into the new industrial and design build markets undertaking larger commercial projects. During this time, E. G. Middleton, Inc. established a shop in downtown Norfolk before moving to its current location in the mid 1960′s.
Through the years, Mitt established a reputation of being an honest businessman by performing work for many repeat customers. With the addition of George and Bev, that reputation continued and E. G. Middleton, Inc. began expanding into more complicated projects on which owners and engineers relied on the experience of contractors to complete projects. E. G. Middleton, Inc. successfully met this demand and its good reputation continued to grow.
During the 1960′s and 1970′s, the company began to concentrate its efforts in the industrial and heavy construction markets. In the early 1970′s, E. George Middleton Jr. became the sole owner of E. G. Middleton, Inc. when his brother Bev left the company to pursue other ventures, though Mitt continued to visit the office daily until his death in 1979. In the early 1970′s, George’s son, E. G. Middleton III (“Rudy”), began to work summers and during breaks from college – the third generation had joined the business. In 1982, after working in the field for many years and graduating from Old Dominion University, Rudy was brought into the office where he began estimating and managing projects. In the mid-1990′s, Rudy assumed the role of President. Like his father before him, George continued to visit the office daily until his death in 2009.
Over time, the company has continued to grow and expand into new markets. Employing an average of 100-150 electricians, linemen and cable splicers, the company’s work has grown with federal, state, and local government clients and various Departments of Transportation clients into utilities, traffic signalization, medium voltage overhead and underground, food processing plants, pulp and paper mills, and shipyards – the main concentration of the company today.
The philosophy that “Mr. Mitt” established in the 1920′s – that honesty and quality equal integrity which brings success – has remained our philosophy. This timeless approach to business has set us apart from other contractors and has rewarded all that have been affiliated with E. G. Middleton, Inc.
Times may change, but our commitment to quality work and honesty toward customers has, and will remain, unchanged.
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E. George Middleton, Jr. (1996)