In 1942. R.G. LeTourneau, the man largely responsible for the invention and development of earth-moving machines in wide use today, built his fourth manufacturing plant in Vicksburg. He brought with him a small group of talented men including Clyde Wilson and Eddie Florell.
LeTourneau's factories supplied bomb casings and 70% of all heavy earth-moving equipment used by Allied forces during WWII.
In 1955, he built his first mobile off-shore jack-up drilling rig at the Vicksburg plant for Zapata Drilling. During the 1970s, as many as 7 rigs were under construction by a workforce exceeding 2,000.
To house the increasing population of employees in Vicksburg, he built a village complete with grocery store, post office, beauty shop, credit union, swimming pool, tennis courts, ball fields, airstrip, and concrete houses with heated floors, which were fabricated with a machine of his design.
A devout Christian, "Mr. R.G." termed himself "in partnership with God." He tithed 90%, employed full-time chaplains, and offered weekly chapel services in his plants. He traveled the country in a converted A-26 glass-nosed bomber plane, giving his personal testimony as a Christian. His philanthropy extended around the world with missionary projects in Liberia and Peru.
Sponsored by C.H. and Jo Wilson and Friends of LeTourneau