Fayetteville’s Dick Farrar, Jr., records the story of what was once one of the country’s leading construction companies in “The Rise and Fall of a Construction Giant: The History, People and Stories of CFW Construction”, a book set to be released this Saturday.
The book is dedicated “to the men and women who toiled long hours, leaving their families on Sunday afternoons or at sunrise on Monday mornings to travel to their respective project sites only to return home late Friday evening to spend a few hours with family, to enjoy a home-cooked meal before repeating the cycle,” Farrar writes in its opening pages.
“The CFW story is colorful and rich, and my goal was to capture a bit of small town history that started with a Bantam backhoe, a two-ton dump truck, a 105 Schramm Air Compressor, a Chevrolet pickup truck in 1950 by ‘good ole country boys’ who knew not what the next day, month, or year would bring, but with the watchful eye of the Good Lord persevered and built and corporate giant,” said Farrar in his dedication.
Expected to be available locally at The Book Inn on the south side of the Fayetteville square, the 318-page history chronicles the construction company’s founding in 1952 by William R. Carter, Dick Farrar, Sr., and John Williams, to its expansion into building plants, roads, tunnels, bridges, and more. Over 40 years, the company had grown to five offices, 14 subsidiaries, a thousand pieces of equipment and a workforce of 1,500 across a dozen states.
CFW’s final days, though, would come in the early 1990’s in the aftermath of a federal criminal investigation into bid-rigging practices a decade earlier, an investigation hailed as one of “the largest antitrust cases in U.S. history.” The focus of several chapters in the book, the investigation and its consequences are also detailed.
Farrar was there for the best and worst of it, weaving into the story recollections from his youth to later years when he was the helm of some major projects. Letters, memorandums, and nearly a hundred photos help Farrar tell the story of the company.
Farrar and his wife, Martha, continue to reside in Fayetteville, just minutes away from where CFW started on Pioneer Street as well as where its story ended at 1824 Pulaski Highway. He currently manages property, consults with the private sector, writes, and enjoys gardening.
Both active members of First Presbyterian Church in Fayetteville, they are close to their son’s and daughter’s families, which includes two granddaughters and two grandsons. The family is also staunch Mississippi State Bulldog fans.
Published by the Fresh Ink Group, LLC, out of Guntersville, Ala.. “The Rise and Fall of a Construction Giant” will be available in hardcover, paperback and on ebooks.
“Dick Farrar, Jr., has curated a trove of photos, documents, and insider knowledge to present a compelling story of the South, its people, and the impact of one company on the region,” said Stephen Geez, publisher. “People close to the story will want the book as a historical keepsake, but the narrative will appeal to a wider, even international, audience as the cautionary tale of a wildly successful American business bought down by the missteps of a few key people.”