Never giving up

T-R photos by Thomas Nelson — LeRoy Morford, the concrete king, stands outside his new building which was rebuild shortly after his previous building burned down almost a year ago.

A positive attitude can make a huge difference in someone’s life.

LeRoy Morford, Marshalltown’s Concrete King, found his livelihood up in flames last August.

“I lost nearly everything,” he said.

A truck caught fire in his building and destroyed nearly everything inside on Aug. 16. During the fire two overhead doors collapsed, and a semi-trailer caught fire.

“It became an inferno,” Morford said. ”

Contributed photo LeRoy Morford, the concrete king, has an infectious smile which stayed on even as a fire consumed his business almost one year ago.

The Marshalltown Fire Department declared the building a total loss.

Luckily Morford’s spirit is made of stronger stuff. He never shutdown, and instead residents of Marshalltown came together to help him move forward.

When meeting Morford you’d be forgiven for finding his positive attitude contagious. His smile is evident even under the mask he wears during the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you’re around Morford long enough you’ll hear him mention his “PMA” which stands for positive mental attitude.

“I give it to everybody,” he said. “You’ve got to have PMA to keep moving forward.”

LeRoy Morford stands next to his new truck that he gifted himself after 50 years in the concrete business.

Morford said he grew up poor and worked to build up his businesses.

“I like the work,” he said.

After watching his world go up in flames on a Friday, the following Monday Morford went and bought a level, ball of string and a tape measure and got back to work.

“I know I wasn’t going to let something like this slow me down,” he said.

His energetic nature is evident as he says he’s 72 going on 40.

LeRoy Mordord stands ouside his business which was burned to the ground almost a year ago. It stands as a testiment to his postive attitude.

“I can keep up with anybody,” Morford said.

This year was Morford’s concrete construction company’s 50th anniversary.

Unfortunately, he lost a lot of tools and equipment he accumulated through the years.

Fortunately, those items were replaced by community members.

Damage from the fire was estimated at $1 million dollars.

MARSHALLTOWN Co. helped Morford quite a bit, donating tools and other items he needed to keep working.

In about two weeks Morford was able to rebuild a warehouse for his business complete with a big sign, showing off his half century of work.

“This is all brand new,” he said.

At least 40 to 50 friends of his came out to help him clean-up.

“I was able to remove all of the debris,” Morford said. “People just come together.”

Rarely did a day go by when someone didn’t come by with an extra tool they found in their shed for Morford.

“I probably got 40 or 50 tools within a week,” he said. “Some people I didn’t even know.”

The kindness of strangers and MARSHALLTOWN Co. ensured Morford had all the tools he needed only two weeks after his devastating fire.

“It’s unbelievable how people in Marshalltown stepped up,” he said. “I was born here, I grew up here, I know everybody here, and the community is like one big happy family in Marshalltown.”


Contact Thomas Nelson at 641-753-6611

or tnelson@timesrepublican.com


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)