There have been plenty of changes around Oklahoma in the past 100 years. One constant, since 1896, more than a decade before Oklahoma officially became a state, is Cowen Construction. Since starting construction on the first school and church in Shawnee, where the company was originally headquartered, the name Cowen has been known throughout the state for their quality work.

After working his way west with his brothers as part of the construction crew building the Frisco railroad, Nathan Cowen eventually settled in Shawnee, Oklahoma and founded Cowen Construction. From the city hospital, to the municipal building, City Hall and even the Elks Club, Cowen Construction has fingerprints on nearly all of the historical structures in its first home.

Nathan passed the company down to his three sons, who would move it to Tulsa and eventually pass it on to a grandson, John Cowen, who still serves as President today.

To remain successful, Cowen Construction has had to change and adapt over the decades. Developing technology, new materials and unique processes have always been incorporated into the business and viewed as an opportunity to improve the service provided to clients. There’s always been an eye to the future to stay ahead of developing trends and prepare for economic instability.

Even though changing with the times is vital, Cowen Construction has also been able to hold onto the values the company was founded on. That includes striving to exceed expectations on each project, and providing personalized service aimed at creating and maintaining relationships with clients.

“For many construction companies, they come in, do a big project and then go away,” John Cowen said. “Our goal is to be there for the long haul.”

That commitment to clients has resulted in Cowen Construction being involved in many Tulsa landmarks, just as they were in Shawnee. Williams Company, The Tulsa World, St. John Medical Center and Saint Francis Health Systems are all counted among the Cowen Construction client base.

The values that started the company are set to continue into the future, as well, with Link Cowen already on board as Vice President. Link is committed to continuing to build the lasting relationships that have served Cowen Construction well throughout its history.

John Cowen believes his company is poised to continue to excel.

“I think if we, first and foremost, keep the needs of our clients in mind and make them happy, the company will be around for another hundred plus years.”