Our History

For over a hundred years and five generations.

We have been a successful, family-owned-and-operated construction company for well over a hundred years and over five generations. Our work traces back to the earliest days of our country as the United States expanded west. The Cowen brothers built railroads and stations as the need for industry grew.

Cowen Construction was officially founded in 1896 as we took our experience and knowledge and began building homes and municipal buildings in Shawnee, Oklahoma. Our mission dates back to our earliest days, as a company that builds and fosters relationships, resulting in repeat clients and referrals. We continued to grow and built hospitals, university buildings, and churches and helped establish and grow towns throughout Oklahoma.

During WWII, Cowen Construction built several large army and navy installations in Oklahoma and Arkansas.  Among these was the $29,000,000 naval installation at Norman and Lexington, the alien internment camp at McAlester, The Newport Air Base and Glennan General Hospital in Okmulgee.   

Each next generation of Cowen Construction has been marked by new opportunities for growth and expansion.

We have seen the U.S. economy through wars and prosperity, and economic crisis and rebuilding. We have continually refined our business model over the years, always focusing on building relationships with our clients, resulting in repeat business.

We bring an intentional, personalized service to each project. Because we have been in business for so long, our experience is unmatched. 

Our hope is that by continuing to deliver quality, trustworthy work, we will be around for another hundred years.

“For many construction companies, they come in, do a big project and then go away. Our goal is to be there for the long haul. Rather than grow our business by increasing the number of projects, our focus is to grow our client base by nurturing our relationships. We don’t want to be the biggest. We want to be the best.” 

John S Cowen, CEO