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Stanton, Calif. - based ORCO Block Co., Inc., kept pace with the burgeoning concrete block industry and quietly grew into one of its leaders. Over the years, ORCO literally has provided the foundation on which much of Southern California is built to become a major seller of concrete block. ORCO also has become one of the top-ten concrete block manufacturers in the nation. It produces more than 500 stock items and maintains an ongoing emphasis on product research and development, quality control testing and support of technical studies. Its progressive management believes in re-investing profits back into the company.

 

 

In 1946, the Muth family became involved with Orco Block just as the company was to start production. Pete Muth, his father, George Muth, and brother-in-law, Frank Hertz amassed $4,000 between them and they now owned half of one of the more than 280 concrete block plants in the State of California. There are now 17. Previously, the Muths and Frank Hertz were operating a donut shop. Soon, George Muth sold his interest to pursue other endeavors and Frank Hertz shifted to the trucking operations as owner / operator of that function. What began with one facility in Santa Ana expanded in 1954 to include a location in Stanton and in 1971, a Riverside plant. That year Pete Muth became sole owner of the company due to his partner's death.

 

In 1975, Pete's son, Rick, joined the company as assistant office manager. Today, he is president, overseeing the day-to-day operations of the multi-million-dollar company and the development of its extensive product line. He directs the company's aggressive expansion, helps maintain ORCO's high industry profile and leadership role, and continues the company's active community involvement, a precedent established by his father. Pete's wife, Mary Muth has always maintained an avid interest in Orco and community affairs and is a frequent participant in industry association events.

ORCO and the Muth family are willing contributors and participants in a wide variety of civic projects and charitable activities in Orange, San Diego, Riverside and San Bernardino counties. In 1986, its 40th year, it was honored for those contributions by the Sales and Marketing Executives of Orange County and the Orange County Register, which named it one of "Orange County's Top 50" companies. In 1989, Pete Muth and Orco Block were named Manufacturing Entrepreneurs of the year by Arthur Young and Inc. Magazine for L.A. County.

Since 1982, ORCO has consolidated its Orange County operations into its Stanton facility, expanded its Riverside plant, purchased competitors in Oceanside, Banning, and opened a new Romoland/Perris facility. As a result, the company now operates 12 block-making machines in five locations that can use 80 semi-truckloads of raw materials a day to produce enough block in one year to build a six-foot high wall more than 900 miles long - or from San Diego to Eugene, Oregon.

ORCO currently employs 150 people, many of whom have been with the company for more than 20 years thanks to the company's progressive entrepreneurial management style that provides independence and allows workers and their duties to grow.

Orco's commitment to service, leadership and the community is evident by Rick's 1995 Chairmanship of the National Concrete Masonry Association. He is the first son to follow in his father's footsteps as leader of the organization. Pete served as the elected chair in 1966.

Tribute to Peter Muth (3/26/14 – 12/10/03)

Orco Block Company experienced a great loss in 2003. Our company’s founder, Peter Muth, passed away from natural causes on December 10, 2003. Peter Muth lived an interesting and full life and will be greatly missed by all that knew him.

Pete was born on March 26, 1914 in Montana. As a child, Pete grew up on an Indian reservation in Montana. “He loved to tell stories about growing up on the Crow Indian Reservation in Montana,” said his son, Rick Muth. “Dad knew the scout for General Custer. His name was Curley. As a child, Dad sold the Indians, that were in the battle with Custer, hot dogs and Cokes at the battle’s 50th anniversary in 1926.”

Montana-born Peter Muth grew up in the cold country. “In World War II, Pete served in the U.S. Navy at Pearl Harbor and he was delighted with the weather there,” said Rick. “So California was the place for him.” Peter and Mary Muth were married in 1939 and celebrated 64 years of matrimony. They came to California in 1946 and helped launch the Orco Block Company.

Pete Muth , his father, George Muth, and brother-in-law, Frank Hertz founded the Orco Block Company in 1946. At that time there were 253 block-making companies in California, now there are “10 or 11” left. And Orco is growing. “He always enjoyed his block-making and associations, “ said Rick. “He was proud of the fact we were the only father and son team to both serve as presidents of our national associations.” Rick has followed his dad as president of Orco Block Company for 35 years. “Dad never formally retired,” said Rick. “He was still the chairman of the board.”

“Dad also loved to fly his own plane. He flew the Arctic Circle and flew around the Statue of Liberty and to Costa Rica. He flew from 1949 until he was 79 in 1994.” Pete also loved to give back to the community. Pete and Mary Muth are well-known philanthropists. They have donated generously to many foundations such as the Providence Speech and Hearing Center in Orange, the Boys and Girls Club of Stanton, and many other charities and community organizations.

Pete and Mary had four children: Rick, Mitzi and Kathleen, who died in 1988. There are nine grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Other survivors include Muth’s brother, Carl, of Bishop and his sister, Anna, of Canyon Lake.

Pete was loved and admired by many that knew them and will be dearly missed.

 

 
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