With a vision and determination, anything can be achieved!

Vision

In 1944, after learning of clay outcroppings in a road ditch just Southeast of Concordia, Charles S. Cook, then president of General Finance, Inc., contacted the State Geological Survey to further test the area. Using German POW’s, testing of the area began and a large deposit of Dakota fire clay suitable for manufacturing quality buff colored building brick was discovered. In late 1945, Charles, along with his wife Marian and brother George H. Cook, held a community-wide dinner and formally presented their plans for building a face brick manufacturing plant to be named Cloud Ceramics. The venture was financed by the sale of corporate stock and 8% debentures.

Determination

George’s son Richard joined Cloud Ceramics in 1946 and brick production began using ten “beehive” kilns. The first Ceramic Engineer, David Young, was hired to oversee construction of the facilities. The “beehive” kilns were 30 ft. in diameter, 16 ft. high and were fired by natural gas. This was a periodic type operation in which the brick were handled four times by workers from the time it was extruded to the time it was loaded onto trucks or railcars. Under the Cook leadership the company prospered and in 1956 construction began on a new modern labor and energy efficient plant that featured a 403 ft. tunnel kiln designed by Harrop Ceramic Service Company. The addition of the new 2005 state-of-the-art Lingl plant has more than doubled our production, allowing us to better server our important customers.

Achievement

Today, Cloud Ceramics mines 5 different colors of clay from the same Dakota clay field in which the company began over 60 years ago. Cloud Ceramics manufactures over 30 different colors of brick in a variety of sizes and textures and is known in the industry as the “Cadillac” of brick lines. Known not only for its high quality standards but also for vibrancy in color, this face brick is sold nationwide as well as in Canada. Cloud Ceramics attributes its success over the years to strong leadership and experienced employees that rank among the best in the industry. Through the years Cloud Ceramics has developed not only a reputation of providing a top quality product but also of being a company dedicated to preserving our environment.